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1.
Vaccine ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1805291

ABSTRACT

People who are homeless experience higher rates of vaccine-preventable disease, including COVID-19, than the general population, and poorer associated health outcomes. However, delivering vaccinations to people who are homeless is complex, and there is a lack of evidence to inform practice in this area. The aim of this systematic review is to: (a) identify, (b) analyse the characteristics of, and (c) evaluate the outcomes of, strategies to improve vaccination rates in people who are homeless. Literature was retrieved from eight electronic databases. Studies undertaken in high-income countries, published in English, in a peer-reviewed journal, and in full-text were considered. No limits were placed on study design or date. A total of 1,508 articles were retrieved and, after the removal of duplicates, 637 were screened. Twenty-three articles, reporting on nineteen separate vaccination strategies for hepatitis A/B, influenza, herpes zoster, invasive pneumococcal disease, and diphtheria in people who are homeless, were selected for inclusion. All the strategies were effective at improving vaccination rates in, people who are homeless. Most strategies involved vaccination clinics and most were delivered, at least in part, by nurses. Other characteristics of successful strategies included: delivering vaccinations at convenient locations;using accelerated vaccination schedules (if available);vaccinating at the first appointment, regardless of whether a person’s vaccination history or serological status were known (if clinically safe);operating for a longer duration;offering training to staff about working with people who are homeless;widely promoting clinics;considering education, reminders, incentives, and co-interventions;ensuring no out-of-pocket costs;and working collaboratively with stakeholders, including people who are homeless themselves. These findings will inform evidence-based vaccination strategies, including for COVID-19, in people who are homeless, and improve associated health outcomes in this at-risk, hard-to-reach group.

2.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 161, 2022 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745484

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the continuing threat of importing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many countries have implemented some form of border restriction. A repercussion of these restrictions has been that some travellers have found themselves stranded abroad unable to return to their country of residence, and in need for government support. Our analysis explores the COVID-19-related information and support options provided by 11 countries to their citizens stranded overseas due to travel restrictions. We also examined the quality (i.e., readability, accessibility, and useability) of the information that was available from selected governments' web-based resources. METHODS: Between June 18 to June 30, 2021, COVID-19-related webpages from 11 countries (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), France, Spain, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand) were reviewed and content relating to information and support for citizens stuck overseas analysed. Government assistance-related data from each webpage was extracted and coded for the following themes: travel arrangements, health and wellbeing, finance and accommodation, information needs, and sources. Readability was examined using the Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) and the Flesch Kincaid readability tests; content 'accessibility' was measured using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.1; and content 'usability' assessed using the usability heuristics for website design tool. RESULTS: Ninety-eight webpages from 34 websites were evaluated. No country assessed covered all themes analysed. Most provided information and some level of support regarding repatriation options; border control and re-entry measures; medical assistance; and traveller registration. Only three countries provided information or support for emergency housing while abroad, and six provided some form of mental health support for their citizens. Our analysis of the quality of COVID-19-related information available on a subset of four countries' websites found poor readability and multiple accessibility and usability issues. CONCLUSION: This study uniquely analyses government support for citizens stuck abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. With large variance in the information and services available across the countries analysed, our results highlight gaps, inconsistencies, and potential inequities in support available, and raise issues pertinent to the quality, accessibility, and usability of information. This study will assist policymakers plan and communicate comprehensive support packages for citizens stuck abroad due to the COVID-19 situation and design future efforts to prepare for global public health emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Government , Humans , Internet , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , United States
3.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 272, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1717953

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Events such as the COVID-19 pandemic remind us of the heightened risk that healthcare workers (HCWs) have from acquiring infectious diseases at work. Reducing the risk requires a multimodal approach, ensuring that staff have the opportunity to undertake occupational infection prevention and control (OIPC) training. While studies have been done within countries to look at availability and delivery of OIPC training opportunities for HCWs, there has been less focus given to whether their infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines adhere to recommended best practices. OBJECTIVES: To examine national IPC guidelines for the inclusion of key recommendations on OIPC training for HCWs to protect them from infectious diseases at work and to report on areas of inconsistencies and gaps. METHODS: We applied a scoping review method and reviewed guidelines published in the last twenty years (2000-2020) including the IPC guidelines of World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These two guidelines were used as a baseline to compare the inclusion of key elements related to OIPC training with IPC guidelines of four high-income countries /regions i.e., Gulf Cooperation Council, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and four low-, and middle-income countries (LMIC) i.e. India, Indonesia, Pakistan and, Philippines. RESULTS: Except for the Filipino IPC guideline, all the other guidelines were developed in the last five years. Only two guidelines discussed the need for delivery of OIPC training at undergraduate and/or post graduate level and at workplace induction. Only two acknowledged that training should be based on adult learning principles. None of the LMIC guidelines included recommendations about evaluating training programs. Lastly the mode of delivery and curriculum differed across the guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: Developing a culture of learning in healthcare organizations by incorporating and evaluating OIPC training at different stages of HCWs career path, along with incorporating adult learning principles into national IPC guidelines may help standardize guidance for the development of OIPC training programs. Sustainability of this discourse could be achieved by first updating the national IPC guidelines. Further work is needed to ensure that all relevant healthcare organisations are delivering a package of OIPC training that includes the identified best practice elements.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Front Public Health ; 9: 801176, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701305

ABSTRACT

Rather than concentrating primarily on children and adolescents, there has been a shift in the discourse around immunisation to encompass a whole-of-life approach. Despite this acknowledgement and ongoing high burdens of vaccine preventable diseases in adults, coverage for some adult risk groups remains sub-optimal. This study aimed to explore key informant's and stakeholder's perceptions of factors impacting provision of immunisation programs for Australian adults and to identify strategies to promote acceptance and uptake. Semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken with people involved in adult immunisation program delivery, advocacy, policy or research between September 2020 and June 2021. Transcripts were inductively analysed, with the resulting themes categorised into the five influences on vaccination gaps that have informed program planning in other countries: Access, Affordability, Awareness, Acceptance and Activation. Participants spoke of improvements in the provision of vaccines to adults, however, ongoing challenges persisted. Participants agreed that the focus or emphasis of policies and the promotion/communication strategies has been on childhood vaccination in Australia, however there is a sense that the "pendulum has swung." These included understanding of eligibility amongst the Australian population and the reluctance of some health providers to dedicate time to exploring immunisation needs with adult patients. In comparison to the childhood vaccination program, there has been a lack of data available on coverage for adult vaccines on the national immunisation program. This has contributed to the ongoing challenges of identifying and promoting certain vaccines. At a government level, questions were raised about why the Australian government has never set an aspirational target for adult vaccination (i.e., influenza or pneumococcal) coverage. While significant improvements have been made in adult immunisation uptake, there are still gaps across the program. While the system remains under stress because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not appropriate to implement any additional programs. There needs to be strong commitment to establish the value of adult vaccination in the eyes of community members, policy makers and healthcare professionals. Having a national adult immunisation strategic plan would help advance action.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Immunization , Life Change Events , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328879

ABSTRACT

Community and religious leaders, as well as other natural leaders, from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds have been posited as a gateway into communities, acting as information intermediaries that enabler or broker public health messages about the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are currently limitations regarding our understanding of the capacity, role and reach of these leaders. In-depth interviews were undertaken to understand the perceptions of those working in services and other social support roles focused on CaLD communities towards the role and impact of information intermediaries in promoting and supporting COVID-19 public health communication and engagement activities. Forty-six semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken with key stakeholders who have an active role in the delivery of services and other social support to CaLD communities in Australia. Four key themes emerged related to the role of information intermediaries during the interviews. Ideas around the role they fulfil in “bridging the gap” and supporting the delivery of pandemic related information into communities. Participants suggested that there had been a failure by Federal government agencies to recognise the role of these stakeholders early in the pandemic, as well as a failure to provide sufficient resources and support. However, concerns were also raised that information may be inappropriately interpreted or translated by the community information intermediaries or potentially blocked, if the message does not align with the broker’s own beliefs. Finally, concerns were raised about the potential for burn-out amongst information intermediaries. It is critical that in preparing and responding to pandemics and other disasters, that there is recognition of the role of community leaders and other information intermediaries and that resources are identified to enhance and sustain their involvement.

6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328668

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the emergence of COVID-19, issues have been raised regarding the approach used to engage with culturally, and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities during this public health crisis. This study aimed to understand the factors impacting communication and engagement efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of key CaLD community stakeholders and opinion leaders. Methods Forty-six semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken with key stakeholders who have an active role (established prior to the pandemic) in the delivery of services and other social support to CaLD communities in Australia. Results Seven key themes emerged: (1) the digital divide and how to really connect with people;(2) information voids being filled by international material;(3) differentiating established with new and emerging community needs;(4) speaking COVID-19;(5) ineffectiveness of direct translations of English language resources;(6) Coordination is needed to avoid duplication and address gaps and (7) recognising the improvements in governments’ approach. Conclusion It is critical that alliances be set up that can be activated in the future to reduce issues around resource development, translation, and dissemination of messages to minimise gaps in the response. Financial assistance must be provided in a timely way to community organisations to support the development and dissemination of culturally appropriate communication materials.

7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327791

ABSTRACT

Background: The impact of COVID-19 international travel restrictions has to date, not been fully explored, and with the ongoing threat that new variants could potentially restrict movement further, it is important to consider the impacts that travel restrictions have on community members. This study aimed to evaluate the psychological and financial impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on those separated from their partners or immediate families, as well as temporary visa holders who were unable to migrate. Methods: Between 4 November 2021 to 1 December 2021, we executed a cross-sectional online survey targeting three specific groups;(1) those stranded from their partners;(2) those stranded from immediate families;and (3) temporary visa holders unable to migrate or cross international borders. We collected data on respondents demographic profile;the nature of COVID-19-related travel impacts;depression, anxiety, and stress levels (using the validated DASS-21);and finally, data on respondents financial, employment and accommodation situation. Results: 1363 respondents located globally completed the survey. 71.2% reported financial stress, 76.8% reported moderate-to-extremely severe depression, 51.6% moderate-to-extremely severe anxiety, and 62.6% moderate-to-extremely severe stress levels. Statistically significant factors associated with moderate-to-extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress included being female, chronic illness, and experiencing financial stress. Employment during COVID-19, specifically essential services workers or unemployed, was associated with higher levels of anxiety and stress, with only essential workers being a predictor of higher stress severity. Factors that provided psychological protection included being older and having children. Conclusion: This study is one of the first to explore the impact COVID-19-related international travel restrictions have had on the financial status and psychological health of affected individuals. It highlights the significant human cost associated with the restrictions and identifies psychologically vulnerable populations. These results will help the design of targeted health and social policy responses.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316757

ABSTRACT

Background: In response to the continuing threat of COVID-19, many countries have implemented some form of border restriction. A repercussion of these restrictions has been that some travellers have been stranded abroad unable to return to their country of residence, and in need for government support. Our analysis explores the COVID-19-related information and support options provided by 11 countries to their citizens stranded overseas due to travel restrictions. We also examined the quality (i.e., readability, accessibility, and useability) of the information that was available from selected governments’ web-based resources. Methods: : Between June 18 to June 30, 2021, COVID-19-related webpages from 11 countries (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), France, Spain, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand) were reviewed and content relating to information and support for citizens stuck overseas analysed. Government assistance-related data from each webpage was extracted and coded for the following themes: travel arrangements, health and wellbeing, finance and accommodation, information needs, and sources. Readability was examined using the Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) and the Flesch Kincaid readability tests;content ‘accessibility’ was measured using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.1;and content ‘usability’ assessed using the usability heuristics for website design tool. Results: : Ninety-eight webpages from 34 websites were evaluated. No country assessed covered all themes analysed. Most provided information and some level of support regarding repatriation options;border control and re-entry measures;medical assistance;and traveller registration. Only three countries provided information or support for emergency housing while abroad, and six provided some form of mental health support for their citizens. Our analysis of the quality of COVID-19-related information available on a subset of four countries’ websites found poor readability and multiple accessibility and usability issues. Conclusion: With large variance in the information and services available across the countries analysed, our results highlight gaps, inconsistencies, and potential inequities in support available, and raise issues pertinent to the quality, accessibility, and usability of information. This study will assist policymakers plan and communicate comprehensive support packages for citizens stuck abroad due to the COVID-19 situation and design future efforts to prepare for global public health emergencies.

9.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315459

ABSTRACT

Background: Homemade cloth products are increasingly being used as a preventive measure against COVID-19, with various methods promoted through do-it-yourself (DIY) videos available on YouTube and other websites. While guidance has been provided by key organisations on how to create face masks, the extent to which this is being accurately disseminated is currently unknown. Methods A key word search of YouTube using the terms “face/cloth mask” and “diy face/cloth mask” was completed on 18 April 2020. Total and category video content scores determined using the 18-point scoring system in the author-designed checklist. Criteria grouped by: reasons and caveats for use (three criteria), manufacturing instructions (six criteria), instructions for use (five criteria), re-use (three criteria), and cleaning instructions (one criteria). Total scores of ≥ 9 were classified as useful, and those < 9 classified as not useful out of a maximum score of 18. Results Of the 400 videos screened, 261 videos were retained for analysis. 91.7% (n = 242) were categorised as non-useful, compared to 8.3% (n = 22) as useful. Overall, useful videos scored higher across all assessed content evaluation categories. Manufacturing instructions were the most common content featured in the videos, with re-use and cleaning instructions featuring the least. Conclusions Currently, there is a lack of comprehensive, best-practice information on face masks being disseminated through YouTube. The information gaps identified in these findings present an opportunity for authoritative sources to focus communication efforts on promoting best-practice guidance while advice continues to be updated on universal face mask use.

10.
Vaccine ; 40(17): 2498-2505, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683644

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is widespread hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors of willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 in five cities with varying COVID-19 incidence in the US, UK, and Australia. DESIGN: Online, cross-sectional survey of adults from Dynata's research panel in July-September 2020. PARTICIPANTS, SETTING: Adults aged 18 and over in Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York City, or Phoenix. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; reason for vaccine intention. STATISTICAL METHODS: To identify predictors of intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we used Poisson regression with robust error estimation to produce prevalence ratios. RESULTS: The proportion willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine was 70% in London, 71% NYC, 72% in Sydney, 76% in Phoenix, and 78% in Melbourne. Age was the only sociodemographic characteristic that predicted willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in all five cities. In Sydney and Melbourne, participants with high confidence in their current government had greater willingness to receive the vaccine (PR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.07-1.44 and PR = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.74-1.62), while participants with high confidence in their current government in NYC and Phoenix were less likely to be willing to receive the vaccine (PR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.72-0.85 and PR = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.76-0.96). LIMITATIONS: Consumer panels can be subject to bias and may not be representative of the general population. CONCLUSIONS: Success for COVID-19 vaccination programs requires high levels of vaccine acceptance. Our data suggests more than 25% of adults may not be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but many of them were not explicitly anti-vaccination and thus may become more willing to vaccinate over time. Among the three countries surveyed, there appears to be cultural differences, political influences, and differing experiences with COVID-19 that may affect willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Australia , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Government , Humans , Intention , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust , United Kingdom , United States , Vaccination
11.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(1)2021 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580372

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers' COVID-19 vaccination coverage is important for staff and patient safety, workforce capacity and patient uptake. We aimed to identify COVID-19 vaccine intentions, factors associated with uptake and information needs for healthcare workers in Victoria, Australia. We administered a cross-sectional online survey to healthcare workers in hospitals, primary care and aged or disability care settings (12 February-26 March 2021). The World Health Organization Behavioural and Social Drivers of COVID-19 vaccination framework informed survey design and framing of results. Binary regression results adjusted for demographics provide risk differences between those intending and not intending to accept a COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 3074 healthcare workers completed the survey. Primary care healthcare workers reported the highest intention to accept a COVID-19 vaccine (84%, 755/898), followed by hospital-based (77%, 1396/1811) and aged care workers (67%, 243/365). A higher proportion of aged care workers were concerned about passing COVID-19 to their patients compared to those working in primary care or hospitals. Only 25% felt they had sufficient information across five vaccine topics, but those with sufficient information had higher vaccine intentions. Approximately half thought vaccines should be mandated. Despite current high vaccine rates, our results remain relevant for booster programs and future vaccination rollouts.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296838

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Objective With the easing of COVID-19-related international travel restrictions in late 2021 it is time to consider the direct and indirect social, emotional, and financial impacts that these border closures have had. The study aims to evaluate the psychological and financial distress reported by people stranded abroad due to international travel restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Between July and September 2021, we implemented a cross-sectional online survey targeting individuals stranded abroad due to international travel restrictions. The survey collected data about COVID-19 travel restriction-related travel impacts;personal stress, anxiety, and depression (using the validated DASS-21tool);as well as impacts on housing and financial security;and demographic data. Findings We had 1054 participants complete the survey;most were trying to return to the Oceania region (75.4%), with 45% stranded in Europe. Overall, 64.2% reported financial distress while stranded abroad. 64.4% (x̄ =9.43, SD=5.81) reported either a moderate or severe (based on the DASS-21 classification) level of depression, 41.7% for anxiety (x̄ =5.46, SD=4.74), and 58.1% for stress (x̄ =10.64, SD=5.26). Statistically significant factors associated with moderate to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress were financial stress, an employment change, being <30yrs, having a high perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 abroad and being stranded for >2 months. Conclusion The study is among the first to explore the psychological and financial distress-related impacts associated with being stranded abroad due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. It highlights a range of unintended consequences that arise from pandemic-related travel restriction, identifies the health and social needs for a particularly vulnerable population, and provides clues as to the types of support that may be adopted to best support them. This research will assist policymakers in identifying support packages for people stranded abroad due to global disaster.

13.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 46(1): 16-24, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1570283

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Tailored communication is necessary to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake. We aimed to understand the information needs, perceived benefits and barriers to COVID-19 vaccination of people prioritised, but hesitant to receive the vaccine. METHOD: In this qualitative study in Victoria, Australia (February-May 2021), we purposively sampled hesitant adults who were health or aged/disability care workers (n=20), or adults aged 18-69 with comorbidities or aged ≥70 years ('prioritised adults'; n=19). We thematically analysed interviews inductively, then deductively organised themes within the World Health Organization Behavioural and Social Drivers of vaccination model. Two stakeholder workshops (n=12) explored understanding and preferences for communicating risks and benefits. We subsequently formed communication recommendations. RESULTS: Prioritised adults and health and aged care workers had short- and long-term safety concerns specific to personal circumstances, and felt like "guinea pigs". They saw vaccination as beneficial for individual and community protection and travel. Some health and aged care workers felt insufficiently informed to recommend vaccines, or viewed this as outside their scope of practice. Workshop participants requested interactive materials and transparency from spokespeople about uncertainty. Conclusions and public health implications: Eleven recommendations address communication content, delivery and context to increase uptake and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Intention , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Victoria
16.
Vaccine ; 40(17): 2498-2505, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294287

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is widespread hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors of willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 in five cities with varying COVID-19 incidence in the US, UK, and Australia. DESIGN: Online, cross-sectional survey of adults from Dynata's research panel in July-September 2020. PARTICIPANTS, SETTING: Adults aged 18 and over in Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York City, or Phoenix. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; reason for vaccine intention. STATISTICAL METHODS: To identify predictors of intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we used Poisson regression with robust error estimation to produce prevalence ratios. RESULTS: The proportion willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine was 70% in London, 71% NYC, 72% in Sydney, 76% in Phoenix, and 78% in Melbourne. Age was the only sociodemographic characteristic that predicted willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in all five cities. In Sydney and Melbourne, participants with high confidence in their current government had greater willingness to receive the vaccine (PR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.07-1.44 and PR = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.74-1.62), while participants with high confidence in their current government in NYC and Phoenix were less likely to be willing to receive the vaccine (PR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.72-0.85 and PR = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.76-0.96). LIMITATIONS: Consumer panels can be subject to bias and may not be representative of the general population. CONCLUSIONS: Success for COVID-19 vaccination programs requires high levels of vaccine acceptance. Our data suggests more than 25% of adults may not be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but many of them were not explicitly anti-vaccination and thus may become more willing to vaccinate over time. Among the three countries surveyed, there appears to be cultural differences, political influences, and differing experiences with COVID-19 that may affect willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Australia , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cities , Cross-Sectional Studies , Government , Humans , Intention , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust , United Kingdom , United States , Vaccination
17.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 199-207, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279597

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine patterns of mask wearing and other infection prevention behaviours, over two time periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, in cities where mask wearing was not a cultural norm. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of masks and other preventive behaviours in adults aged ≥18 years was conducted in five cities: Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; London, UK; and Phoenix and New York, USA. Data were analysed according to the epidemiology of COVID-19, mask mandates and a range of predictors of mask wearing. RESULTS: The most common measures used were avoiding public areas (80.4%), hand hygiene (76.4%), wearing masks (71.8%) and distancing (67.6%). Over 40% of people avoided medical facilities. These measures decreased from March-July 2020. Pandemic fatigue was associated with younger age, low perceived severity of COVID-19 and declining COVID-19 prevalence. Predictors of mask wearing were location (US, UK), mandates, age <50 years, education, having symptoms and knowing someone with COVID-19. Negative experiences with mask wearing and low perceived severity of COVID-19 reduced mask wearing. Most respondents (98%) believed that hand washing and distancing were necessary, and 80% reported no change or stricter adherence to these measures when wearing masks. CONCLUSION: Pandemic mitigation measures were widely reported across all cities, but decreased between March and July 2020. Pandemic fatigue was more common in younger people. Cities with mandates had higher rates of mask wearing. Promotion of mask use for older people may be useful. Masks did not result in a reduction of other hygiene measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Mandatory Programs , Masks/virology , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
18.
Vaccine ; 39(26): 3467-3472, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240641

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been a recent recognized shift towards a whole-of-life or life-course approach to immunisation. However, coverage amongst at-risk adults for recommended vaccines continues to be suboptimal. This study examined the perceptions of middle and older aged Australian adults towards hospital-based immunization programs and their previous exposures to receiving vaccines via tertiary care. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with Australian adults 45 years and older in late 2019 to capture influenza and pneumococcal vaccine uptake, exposure to hospital-based immunization programs, missed opportunities to vaccinate and receptiveness towards the promotion and/or delivery of vaccines in the hospital setting. RESULTS: Only 13 respondents reported receiving a vaccine at hospital, yet 72.2% (931/1292) indicated that they were willing to be vaccinated in that setting. Amongst those who attended hospital during 2019 and were eligible for vaccination, 57.2% and 28.3% of respondents were not immunized for pneumococcal and influenza, respectively. Missed opportunities for both vaccines were significantly higher amongst those at low-risk for influenza (≤65 years (low-risk): 52.9%, ≤65 years (high-risk): 18.3%, >65 years: 15.1%; p < 0.001) and pneumococcal (≤65 years (low-risk): 79.1%, ≤65 years (high-risk): 52.4%, >65 years: 44%; p < 0.001). Among those with a missed opportunity for hospital-based vaccination, the most common reason for not getting immunized was a lack of recommendation. Most (86.4%) reported that their general practitioner was the person or group they trusted most to receive vaccine information from. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this Australian study support international work that shows very low rates of opportunistic vaccination in hospitals despite national recommendations to vaccinate prior to discharge. Considering the need for high levels of uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine, hospitals may need to be considered to opportunistically capture those not accessing the vaccine in other settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Adult , Aged , Australia , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Immunization , Immunization Programs , Middle Aged , Pneumococcal Vaccines , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
20.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251605, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225816

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Rumors and conspiracy theories, can contribute to vaccine hesitancy. Monitoring online data related to COVID-19 vaccine candidates can track vaccine misinformation in real-time and assist in negating its impact. This study aimed to examine COVID-19 vaccine rumors and conspiracy theories circulating on online platforms, understand their context, and then review interventions to manage this misinformation and increase vaccine acceptance. METHOD: In June 2020, a multi-disciplinary team was formed to review and collect online rumors and conspiracy theories between 31 December 2019-30 November 2020. Sources included Google, Google Fact Check, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, fact-checking agency websites, and television and newspaper websites. Quantitative data were extracted, entered in an Excel spreadsheet, and analyzed descriptively using the statistical package R version 4.0.3. We conducted a content analysis of the qualitative information from news articles, online reports and blogs and compared with findings from quantitative data. Based on the fact-checking agency ratings, information was categorized as true, false, misleading, or exaggerated. RESULTS: We identified 637 COVID-19 vaccine-related items: 91% were rumors and 9% were conspiracy theories from 52 countries. Of the 578 rumors, 36% were related to vaccine development, availability, and access, 20% related to morbidity and mortality, 8% to safety, efficacy, and acceptance, and the rest were other categories. Of the 637 items, 5% (30/) were true, 83% (528/637) were false, 10% (66/637) were misleading, and 2% (13/637) were exaggerated. CONCLUSIONS: Rumors and conspiracy theories may lead to mistrust contributing to vaccine hesitancy. Tracking COVID-19 vaccine misinformation in real-time and engaging with social media to disseminate correct information could help safeguard the public against misinformation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Information Dissemination/methods , Vaccination Refusal/psychology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Communication , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Information Dissemination/ethics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Media , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vaccination/methods
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