Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 31
Filter
1.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869842

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to compare the occurrence and nuisance of adverse events following administration of each COVID-19 vaccine dose between two groups: individuals given three doses of mRNA vaccine (homologous group, 3 × mRNA, n = 252) and those given two doses of adenoviral vector vaccine further boosted with mRNA vaccine (heterologous group, 2 × AZ + 1 × mRNA, n = 205). Although the studied groups differed significantly in the frequency and number of side effects after the first and second vaccine dose, no relevant differences were seen following the booster administration. Arm pain and fatigue were the most common effects, regardless of the vaccination group and vaccine dose. In the homologous group, female sex, lower BMI, and no history of regular influenza vaccination were associated with a higher frequency of side effects of a booster dose. In the heterologous group, the history of COVID-19 was associated with an increased number of side effects seen after a booster. In both groups, the number of side effects related to the first and second dose correlated with the number observed after administration of a booster dose. Individuals receiving a homologous booster reported a higher nuisance of side effects than the heterologous group. It was similar to the level reported after the second dose in both groups. The use of pharmaceuticals to counteract the side effects was more frequent after a first dose in the 2 × AZ + 1 × mRNA group, but higher after second dose in individuals receiving the 3 × mRNA vaccination scheme. The frequency of pharmaceutical use after a booster dose was similar in both groups (approx. 60%). Paracetamol was most frequently chosen, regardless of the group and vaccine dose. In addition, the vast majority of participants (93%) declared to accept future doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if their administration would be recommended. This study provides an overview of the response to homologous and heterologous mRNA vaccine booster dose that may be valuable in shaping accurate and honest communication with vaccinated individuals, especially in those regions which are yet to pursue booster strategies.

2.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf ; 239: 113651, 2022 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850969

ABSTRACT

Air pollution, to which children are more susceptible than adults, can promote airway inflammation, potentially exaggerating the effects of respiratory viral infection. This study examined the association between the clinical manifestation of COVID-19 in unvaccinated pediatric patients hospitalized in Poland (n = 766) and levels of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) within a week before hospitalization. Children aged ≤ 12 years exposed to mean and max 24 h B(a)P levels > 1 ng/m3 revealed higher odds of cough, dyspnea, fever, and increased concentrations of inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, procalcitonin, white blood cell count). In older patients (13-17 years), elevated mean 24 h B(a)P levels increased odds of dyspnea, fever, and diarrhea, and higher concentrations of C-reactive protein and procalcitonin. Exposure to max 24 h PM2.5 levels > 20 µg/m3 was associated with higher odds of cough, increased concentrations of C-reactive protein (group ≤12 years), and increased procalcitonin concentration (groups ≤12 years and 13-17 years). In both age groups, length of stay was extended in patients exposed to elevated levels of max 24 h PM2.5, mean and max 24 h B(a)P. This study suggests that worse air quality, particularly reflected in increased B(a)P levels, might affect the clinical course of COVID-19 in pediatric patients and adds to the disease burden during a pandemic.

3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(3)2022 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1818226

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 vaccination has been the subject of unprecedented misinformation, false news, and public concerns. This study presents a unique analysis comprising persons who were not vaccinated and became ill. It investigates reasons for not vaccinating and evaluates how the personal experience of COVID-19 affected further attitudes and decisions related to health. The study included 730 consecutive unvaccinated patients hospitalized in 12 centers in Poland during the autumn 2021 pandemic wave. The most frequent reason behind the refusal to receive the vaccine was concern over the adverse effects, disbelief that the vaccine was sufficiently tested, and one's conviction that COVID-19 will not affect a patient. Online information, friends, spouse, children/grandchildren, and other family members were most often the source of discouragement from vaccination. Most individuals regretted their decision not to receive a vaccine (66.0%), declared to promote COVID-19 vaccination after discharge (64.0%), and to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the time recommended for convalescents (69.5%). Individuals expressing no regrets of vaccine refusal more frequently revealed conspiracy beliefs. The study shows that personal experience with severe COVID-19 can influence the perception of vaccination, but approximately one-third of unvaccinated hospitalized patients still appear to express vaccine hesitancy.

4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795354

ABSTRACT

The unprovoked aggression of Russian military forces on Ukraine in February 2022 has caused a high influx of refugees, including children, to neighboring countries, particularly Poland. This caused additional pressures on the healthcare system and the need to meet challenges for public health, such as those related to infectious diseases. Here, we discuss the potential epidemiological risks associated with the war-induced influx of refugees (COVID-19, measles, pertussis, tetanus, and poliomyelitis) and highlight the need for their swift management through educational campaigns, counteracting anti-science misinformation and pursuing vaccinations of refugees but also improving or maintaining good levels of immunization in populations of countries welcoming them. These are necessary actions to avoid overlapping of war and infectious diseases and associated public health challenges.

5.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776377

ABSTRACT

The emergence of a highly transmissible and a more pathogenic B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2 has brought concern over COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and the increased risk of severe breakthrough infections. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency and the clinical characteristics of severe breakthrough COVID-19 cases recorded in 10 Polish healthcare units between 1 June and 31 December 2021, a period during which a rapid surge in the share of B.1.617.2 infections was seen, while a significant number of populations were already fully vaccinated. Overall, 723 individuals who completed the initial vaccination regime (fully vaccinated group) and an additional 18 who received a booster dose were identified-together, they represented 20.8% of all the COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the same period in the same healthcare institutions (0.5% in the case of a group that received a booster dose). Although laboratory and clinical parameters did not differ between both groups, patients who received a booster tended to have lower CRP, IL-6, PCT, and d-dimer levels and they required oxygen therapy less frequently. The most common early COVID-19 symptoms in the studied group were fatigue, cough, fever (>38 °C), and dyspnea. Individuals with no detectable anti-spike IgG antibodies constituted 13%; the odds of being a humoral non-responder to the vaccine were increased in patients aged >70 years. Fully vaccinated patients hospitalized after more than 180 days from the last vaccine dose were significantly older and they were predominantly represented by individuals over 70 years and with comorbidities, particularly cardiovascular disease. Contrary to mRNA vaccines, most patients vaccinated with adenoviral vector vaccines were infected within six months. A total of 102 fatal cases (14% of all deaths among vaccinated individuals; 0.7% in the case of a group that received a booster dose) were recorded, representing 17.6% of all the COVID-19 fatalities recorded in June-December 2021 in the considered healthcare units. The odds of death were significantly increased in men, individuals aged >70 years, patients with comorbidities, and those identified as humoral non-responders to vaccination; in fully vaccinated patients the odds were also increased when the second vaccine dose was given >180 days before the first COVID-19 symptoms. The mortality rate in immunocompromised subjects was 19%. The results indicate that compared to vaccinated individuals, severe COVID-19 and deaths in the unvaccinated group were significantly more prevalent during the B.1.617.2-dominated wave in Poland; and, it highlight the protective role of a booster dose, particularly for more vulnerable individuals.

6.
Pharmacol Rep ; 2022 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756999

ABSTRACT

Syringe aspiration when vaccinating intramuscularly was not recommended before the pandemic due to the lack of conclusive evidence that it provides any benefit. However, in vivo evidence suggests that intravenous injection of mRNA vaccine can potentially lead to myocarditis, while introducing adenoviral vector to bloodstream can possibly result in thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy. These rare reactions were recorded in humans following the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines. Although the syringe aspiration may increase the level of pain at the injection site, it represents a simple technique to decrease the risk of vaccine introduction into the vascular system and potentially decrease the risk of severe reactions to mRNA and adenoviral vaccines. We are of the opinion that this cannot be disregarded if one considers that the COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be administrated globally in the form of initial and booster doses. Therefore, the aspiration when giving mRNA and adenoviral vaccines appears to be fully in line with the precautionary principle.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(3)2022 Mar 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742757

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 vaccination campaigns were met with a varying level of vaccine hesitancy in Europe. We analyzed the potential relationships between COVID-19 vaccine coverage in different countries of the European Economic Area and rates of infection, hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care units (ICU), and deaths during the autumn 2021 SARS-CoV-2 wave (September-December). Significant negative correlations between infection rates and the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals were found during September, October, and November, but not December. The loss of this protective effect in December is likely due to the emergence of the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, better adapted to evade vaccine-induced humoral immunity. For every considered month, the negative linear associations between the vaccine coverage and mean number of hospitalizations (r= -0.61 to -0.88), the mean number of ICU admissions (r= -0.62 to -0.81), and death rate (r= -0.64 to -0.84) were observed. The results highlight that vaccines provided significant benefits during autumn 2021. The vaccination of unvaccinated individuals should remain the primary strategy to decrease the hospital overloads, severe consequences of COVID-19, and deaths.

8.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1336-1349, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718399

ABSTRACT

The entire world has been suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since March 11, 2020. More than a year later, the COVID-19 vaccination brought hope to control this viral pandemic. Here, we review the unknowns of the COVID-19 vaccination, such as its longevity, asymptomatic spread, long-term side effects, and its efficacy on immunocompromised patients. In addition, we discuss challenges associated with the COVID-19 vaccination, such as the global access and distribution of vaccine doses, adherence to hygiene guidelines after vaccination, the emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, and vaccine resistance. Despite all these challenges and the fact that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unclear, vaccines have brought great hope for the world, with several reports indicating a significant decline in the risk of COVID19-related infection and hospitalizations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Global Health , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/psychology
9.
Nutrients ; 14(2)2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625632

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the healthcare system, including dentistry. However, it is not entirely clear whether affected patients' willingness for regular dental visits and preventive behaviors with regards oral hygiene and diet. This is essential to understanding the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the acceleration of dental issues in the future. It was aimed at checking the level of dental visit avoidance, self-reported oral health needs, and dietary changes. This cross-sectional questionnaire study conducted in Poland (n = 2574; mean age 44.4 ± 15.6; female 56.3%) assessed nutritional habits and dental care changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As demonstrated, nearly half of the responders (47.1%) avoided regular dental visits, while only 0.5% used online consultations. Fears related to potential cross-contamination in dental offices dropped from 25% to 11.4% and were associated with increased BMI and age (p < 0.05). Sweet snacking/drinking confirmed 19.1%/33.2% subjects. Self-reported oral health care needs (tooth stain, calculus, gingivitis, loss of fillings) were related to frequent snacking and poor oral hygiene (p < 0.05). The study highlights that pandemic periods are covered by eating and drinking changes combined with inadequate hygiene and dental care impose health complaints in the oral cavity. This can magnify both nutritional and interrelated oral health issues, highlighting the need to implement preventive and mitigation measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Diet/methods , Needs Assessment/statistics & numerical data , Oral Hygiene/methods , Quarantine , Self Report , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Poland , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
10.
J Clin Med ; 11(1)2021 Dec 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580644

ABSTRACT

Long-term analyses of demographical and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients can provide a better overview of the clinical course of the disease. They can also help understand whether changes in infection symptomatology, disease severity, and outcome occur over time. We aimed to analyze the demographics, early symptoms of infection, laboratory parameters, and clinical manifestation of COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the first 17 months of the pandemic in Poland (March 2020-June 2021). The patients' demographical and clinical data (n = 5199) were extracted from the national SARSTer database encompassing 30 medical centers in Poland and statistically assessed. Patients aged 50-64 were most commonly hospitalized due to COVID-19 regardless of the pandemic period. There was no shift in the age of admitted patients and patients who died throughout the studied period. Men had higher C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels and required oxygenation and mechanical ventilation more often. No gender difference in fatality rate was seen, although the age of males who died was significantly lower. A share of patients with baseline SpO2 < 91%, presenting respiratory, systemic and gastrointestinal symptoms was higher in the later phase of a pandemic than in the first three months. Cough, dyspnea and fever were more often presented in men, while women had a higher frequency of anosmia, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. This study shows some shifts in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity between March 2020 and July 2021 in the Polish cohort of hospitalized patients and documents various gender-differences in this regard. The results represent a reference point for further analyses conducted under the dominance of different SARS-CoV-2 variants.

11.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1336-1349, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540141

ABSTRACT

The entire world has been suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since March 11, 2020. More than a year later, the COVID-19 vaccination brought hope to control this viral pandemic. Here, we review the unknowns of the COVID-19 vaccination, such as its longevity, asymptomatic spread, long-term side effects, and its efficacy on immunocompromised patients. In addition, we discuss challenges associated with the COVID-19 vaccination, such as the global access and distribution of vaccine doses, adherence to hygiene guidelines after vaccination, the emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, and vaccine resistance. Despite all these challenges and the fact that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unclear, vaccines have brought great hope for the world, with several reports indicating a significant decline in the risk of COVID19-related infection and hospitalizations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Global Health , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/psychology
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(22)2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534073

ABSTRACT

The response to the pandemic requires access to accurate information and public understanding and adherence to preventive measures. This online cross-sectional study of adult Poles (n = 1337) assessed the frequency of COVID-19 preventive behaviors, fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and beliefs in COVID-19-related conspiracy theories during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic when the nationwide lockdown was imposed (April 2020). As shown, 22% of surveyed admitted not to wash their hands frequently, while 12% did not use disinfectants. These two behaviors were also less frequent in individuals with medical education. The highest levels of pandemic-related fears were associated with health loss in relatives, pandemic-induced economic crisis, and government using a pandemic to control citizens by the state. A significant share of surveyed individuals believed that the pandemic was intentional action to weaken non-Chinese economies (32%) or was deliberately induced for profits from selling vaccines (27%). Men, individuals with no children, and subjects with lower education were significantly less likely to adhere to sanitary measures (handwashing, disinfection, avoiding face touching, changes in greeting etiquette, face-covering when coughing or sneezing), and were less concerned over self and relatives' health. At the same time, men were less prone than women to the conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicate that adherence to sanitary measures during the pandemic can be a challenge also in developed countries, while misinformation campaigns (also concerning vaccines) have already affected the general public during the early phase of the epidemiological outbreak. The study provides observations that may be useful in the management of the public response to future epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Communication , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fear , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Poland/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512740

ABSTRACT

Pursuing vaccinations against COVID-19 brings hope to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and remains the most rational decision under pandemic conditions. However, it does not come without challenges, including temporary shortages in vaccine doses, significant vaccine inequity, and questions regarding the durability of vaccine-induced immunity that remain unanswered. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 has undergone evolution with the emergence of its novel variants, characterized by enhanced transmissibility and ability to at least partially evade neutralizing antibodies. At the same time, serum antibody levels start to wane within a few months after vaccination, ultimately increasing the risk of breakthrough infections. This article discusses whether the administration of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines is urgently needed to control the pandemic. We conclude that, at present, optimizing the immunity level of wealthy populations cannot come at the expense of low-income regions that suffer from vaccine unavailability. Although the efficiency of vaccination in protecting from infection may decrease over time, current data show that efficacy against severe disease, hospitalization, and death remains at a high level. If vaccine coverage continues at extremely low levels in various regions, including African countries, SARS-CoV-2 may sooner or later evolve into variants better adapted to evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity, ultimately bringing a global threat that, of course, includes wealthy populations. We offer key recommendations to increase vaccination rates in low-income countries. The pandemic is, by definition, a major epidemiological event and requires looking beyond one's immediate self-interest; otherwise, efforts to contain it will be futile.

14.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502549

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccinations are essential to mitigate the pandemic and prevent severe SARS-CoV-2 infections. However, the serum antibody levels in vaccinated individuals gradually decrease over time, while SARS-CoV-2 is undergoing an evolution toward more transmissible variants, such as B.1.617.2, ultimately increasing the risk of breakthrough infections and further virus spread. This cross-sectional online study of adult Poles (n = 2427) was conducted in September 2021 (before a general recommendation to administer a booster COVID-19 vaccine dose in Poland was issued) to assess the attitude of individuals who completed the current vaccination regime toward a potential booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and identify potential factors that may influence it. Overall, 71% of participants declared willingness to receive a booster COVID-19 dose, with a low median level of fear of receiving it of 1.0 (measured by the 10-point Likert-type scale), which was increased particularly in those having a worse experience (in terms of severity of side effects and associated fear) with past COVID-19 vaccination. The lowest frequency of willingness to receive a booster dose (26.7%) was seen in the group previously vaccinated with Ad26.COV2.S. The majority of individuals vaccinated previously with mRNA vaccines wished to receive the same vaccine, while in the case of AZD1222, such accordance was observed only in 9.1%. The main reasons against accepting a booster COVID-19 dose included the side effects experienced after previous doses, the opinion that further vaccination is unnecessary, and safety uncertainties. Women, older individuals (≥50 years), subjects with obesity, chronic diseases, and pre-vaccination and post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infections, and those with a history of vaccination against influenza were significantly more frequently willing to receive a booster COVID-19 dose. Moreover, the majority of immunosuppressed individuals (88%) were willing to receive an additional dose. The results emphasize some hesitancy toward potential further COVID-19 vaccination in the studied group of Poles and indicate the main groups to be targeted with effective science communication regarding the booster doses.

15.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314780

ABSTRACT

The clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in the European Union have revealed high efficacy in preventing symptomatic infections. However, during vaccination campaigns, some vaccine recipients, including those partially and fully vaccinated, will experience severe COVID-19, requiring hospitalization. This may particularly concern patients with a diminished immune response to the vaccine, as well as non-responders. This work has retrospectively analyzed the 92 cases of patients who were hospitalized between 27 December 2020 and 31 May 2021 in four Polish healthcare units due to COVID-19, and who have previously received the COVID-19 vaccine (54.3% ≤ 14 days after the first dose, 26.1% > 14 days after the first dose, 7.6% ≤ 14 days after the second dose, and 12% > 14 days after the second dose). These patients represented a minute fraction (1.2%) of all the COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized during the same period in the same healthcare institutions. No significant differences in white blood count, absolute lymphocyte count nadir, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, procalcitonin, oxygen saturation, lung involvement, and fever frequency were found between the recipients of the first and second vaccine dose. A total of 15 deaths were noted (1.1% of all fatal COVID-19 cases in the considered period and healthcare units), including six in patients who received the second dose (five > 14 days after the second dose)-three of these subjects were using immunosuppressive medicines, and two were confirmed to be vaccine non-responders. The study reassures that severe COVID-19 and deaths are not common in vaccinated individuals, highlights that the clinical course in such patients may not reveal any distinctive features, and advocates for close monitoring of those at a higher risk of vaccine failure.

16.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(6)2021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256673

ABSTRACT

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines brings hope for successful pandemic mitigation and getting the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 under control. The vaccines authorized in Europe displayed a good safety profile in the clinical trials. However, during their post-authorization use, unusual thrombotic events associated with thrombocytopenia have rarely been reported for vector vaccines. This led to the temporary suspension of the AZD1222 vaccine (Oxford/AstraZeneca) in various European countries and the Ad26.COV2 vaccine (Janssen/Johnson&Johnson) in the United States, with regulatory bodies launching investigations into potential causal associations. The thromboembolic reactions were also rarely reported after mRNA vaccines. The exact cause of these adverse effects remains to be elucidated. The present paper outlines the hypotheses on the mechanisms behind the very rare thrombotic thrombocytopenia reported after the COVID-19 vaccination, along with currently existing evidence and future research prospects. The following are discussed: (i) the role of antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4), (ii) the direct interaction between adenoviral vector and platelets, (iii) the cross-reactivity of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with PF4, (iv) cross-reactivity of anti-adenovirus antibodies and PF4, (v) interaction between spike protein and platelets, (vi) the platelet expression of spike protein and subsequent immune response, and (vii) the platelet expression of other adenoviral proteins and subsequent reactions. It is also plausible that thrombotic thrombocytopenia after the COVID-19 vaccine is multifactorial. The elucidation of the causes of these adverse events is pivotal in taking precautionary measures and managing vaccine hesitancy. It needs to be stressed, however, that the reported cases are currently sporadic and that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines vastly outweigh their potential risks.

17.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 705-725, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222742

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which appeared in late 2019 and eventually resulted in the announcement of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, led to global fear and panic as well as the spread of false information and fake news from different sources. As a result, a sharp increase in prejudice, discrimination, and xenophobia against different groups of people was observed in different geographical locations. This chapter presents the psychological and social sources of stereotypes and prejudices that take forms in the COVID-19 pandemic. These sources can be located in psychosocial processes, such as (i) socially generated and reinforced fears; (ii) human responses to stress induced by certain types of stimuli; (iii) sense of helplessness based on the lack of control over reality; (iv) psychological responses reinforced by conformism (crowd psychology); and (v) the stigmatization process. The chapter also presents the main groups of increased risk of experiencing prejudice and discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic (Asians, health-care workers, COVID-19 patients, and their relatives). Moreover, it provides a documented example of such behaviors. The groups at higher risk of more adverse effects of COVID-19 due to pre-pandemic discrimination are also discussed. Finally, initiatives taken to mitigate the discrimination associated with COVID-19 are presented, as well as the recommendations and good practices for preventing these behaviors during future outbreaks and for limiting discrimination against COVID-19 until the disease can be contained.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(4)2021 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1187069

ABSTRACT

Vaccine hesitancy is a major threat to the success of COVID-19 vaccination programs. The present cross-sectional online survey of adult Poles (n = 1020) expressing a willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was conducted between February and March 2021 and aimed to assess (i) the general trust in different types of vaccines, (ii) the level of acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccines already in use in Poland (BNT162b2 by BioNTech/Pfizer, mRNA-1273 by Moderna and AZD1222 by Oxford/AstraZeneca) as well as eight vaccines approved outside European Union (EU) or in advanced stages of clinical trials, (iii) level of fear of vaccination against COVID-19, and (iv) main sources of information on COVID-19 vaccination. Among all major vaccine technology, the highest level of trust was observed for the mRNA platform, with a considerable number of surveyed (>20%) not aware of the existence of vaccines produced using the traditional approach (inactivated and live attenuated vaccines). The age of participants was the main factor differentiating the level of trust in a particular vaccine type. Both BNT162b and mRNA-1273 received a high level of acceptance, contrary to AZD1222. From eight vaccines unauthorized in the EU at the moment of study, the CVnCoV (mRNA; CureVac) was met with the highest level of trust, followed by Ad26.COV2.S (vector; Janssen/Johnson&Johnson) and NVX-CoV2373 (protein; Novavax). Sputnik V (vector; Gamaleya Research Institute) was decidedly the least trusted vaccine. The median level of fear (measured by the 10-point Likert-type scale) in the studied group was 4.0, mostly related to the risk of serious allergic reactions, other severe adverse events and unknown long-term effects of vaccination. Female, individuals with a lower level of education and those not seeking any information on the COVID-19 vaccines revealed a higher fear of vaccination. Experts' materials were the major source of information on COVID-19 vaccines in the studied group. The study shows the level of trust in COVID-19 vaccines can vary much across the producers while the mRNA vaccines are received with a high level of acceptance. It also emphasizes the need for effective and continuous science communication when fighting the pandemic as it may be an ideal time to increase the general awareness of vaccines.

19.
Int J Disaster Risk Reduct ; 55: 102109, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071384

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic medical students in different countries were mobilized to support healthcare systems during the emergency. This study presents the experience of 580 students of a single medical university in Poland who served as volunteers at different healthcare units during the first six months of the first case being recorded in the country (March-September 2020). The mean ± SD hours and days spent on volunteering in the studied group were 52 ± 36 h and 144 ± 126 d, respectively, the collective number of worked hours amounted to 83,460 h. Compared to other fields of study students of medicine engaged in volunteering for more hours and for more days. The main tasks performed by the surveyed group included triage, servicing call-centers for patients and working at the admission ward, hospital clinics, emergency departments and diagnostic labs. The level of fear at the beginning of volunteering was relatively low in the studied group and did not increase over the course. The majority of students received positive feedback from families, friends, patients and healthcare workers, revealed a high level of satisfaction from volunteering (also when experiencing COVID-19-related prejudice), while gaining professional experience and a sense of giving real aid were among the most frequently indicated benefits. The results of the present study demonstrate that although medical students are not essential workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can be of real assistance to healthcare systems during times of emergency, and should be considered as such in the future in case such a need arises again.

20.
Nutrients ; 13(1)2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067764

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a global health challenge with substantial adverse effects on the world economy. It is beyond any doubt that it is, again, a call-to-action to minimize the risk of future zoonoses caused by emerging human pathogens. The primary response to contain zoonotic diseases is to call for more strict regulations on wildlife trade and hunting. This is because the origins of coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as well as other viral pathogens (e.g., Ebola, HIV) are traceable to wild animals. Although COVID-19 is not related to livestock animals, the pandemic increased general attention given to zoonotic viral infections-the risk of which can also be associated with livestock. Therefore, this paper discusses the potential transformation of industrial livestock farming and the production of animal products, particularly meat, to decrease the risks for transmission of novel human pathogens. Plant-based diets have a number of advantages, but it is unrealistic to consider them as the only solution offered to the problem. Therefore, a search for alternative protein sources in insect-based foods and cultured meat, important technologies enabling safer meat production. Although both of these strategies offer a number of potential advantages, they are also subject to the number of challenges that are discussed in this paper. Importantly, insect-based foods and cultured meat can provide additional benefits in the context of ecological footprint, an aspect important in light of predicted climate changes. Furthermore, cultured meat can be regarded as ethically superior and supports better food security. There is a need to further support the implementation and expansion of all three approaches discussed in this paper, plant-based diets, insect-based foods, and cultured meat, to decrease the epidemiological risks and ensure a sustainable future. Furthermore, cultured meat also offers a number of additional benefits in the context of environmental impact, ethical issues, and food security.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Dietary Proteins/supply & distribution , Food Supply/methods , Animals , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Edible Insects , Food , Humans , Meat , Plants, Edible , Zoonoses/etiology , Zoonoses/prevention & control
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL