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1.
J Glob Health ; 12: 05012, 2022 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847637

ABSTRACT

Background: In November 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) created interim guidance on how to integrate testing for SARS-CoV-2 into existing influenza surveillance systems. Influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) case definitions have been used to specify the case definition of COVID-19 for surveillance purposes. This review aims to assess whether the common clinical features of COVID-19 have changed to the point that the criteria used to identify both COVID-19 and influenza in surveillance programs needs to be altered. Methods: A systematic review of reviews following PRISMA-P guidelines was conducted using the "COVID-19 evidence review" database from August 19, 2020, to August 19, 2021. Reviews providing pooled estimates of the prevalence of clinical features of COVID-19 within the general population, diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction or rapid diagnostic test, were included. These were critically appraised and sensitivity analysis was undertaken to examine potential causes of bias. Results: Fourteen reviews were identified, including three on adults only and three on children only. For all reviews, combined fever (median prevalence = 73.0%, IQR = 58.3-78.7) and cough (45.1%, IQR = 28.9-54.0) were the most common features. These were followed by loss of taste or smell (45.1%, IQR = 28.9-54.0), hypoxemia (33%, one review), fatigue (26.4%, IQR = 9.0-39.4) and expectoration (23.9%, IQR = 23.3-25.5). Fever and cough continued to be the most prevalent features for adults and children, with subsequent symptoms being similar for adults only. However, the pattern differed for children, with headache (34.3%, IQR = 18-50.7) and nasal congestion (20%, one review) being the third and fourth commonest symptoms. Conclusions: The prevalent features found in this recent review were the same as the ones identified at the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, the current approach of using the ILI and SARI criteria which incorporate fever and cough will identify COVID-19 cases in addition to influenza. Interestingly, children may present with different features, as headaches and nasal congestion were more common in this group. Future research could examine this further and investigate whether symptomology changes with new variants of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Virus Diseases , Adult , Child , Cough , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Meta-Analysis as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
2.
J R Soc Med ; : 1410768221095239, 2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820012

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 has resulted in the greatest disruption to National Health Service (NHS) care in its over 70-year history. Building on our previous work, we assessed the ongoing impact of pandemic-related disruption on provision of emergency and elective hospital-based care across Scotland over the first year of the pandemic. DESIGN: We undertook interrupted time-series analyses to evaluate the impact of ongoing pandemic-related disruption on hospital NHS care provision at national level and across demographics and clinical specialties spanning the period 29 March 2020-28 March 2021. SETTING: Scotland, UK. PARTICIPANTS: Patients receiving hospital care from NHS Scotland. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We used the percentage change of accident and emergency attendances, and emergency and planned hospital admissions during the pandemic compared to the average admission rate for equivalent weeks in 2018-2019. RESULTS: As restrictions were gradually lifted in Scotland after the first lockdown, hospital-based admissions increased approaching pre-pandemic levels. Subsequent tightening of restrictions in September 2020 were associated with a change in slope of relative weekly admissions rate: -1.98% (-2.38, -1.58) in accident and emergency attendance, -1.36% (-1.68, -1.04) in emergency admissions and -2.31% (-2.95, -1.66) in planned admissions. A similar pattern was seen across sex, socioeconomic status and most age groups, except children (0-14 years) where accident and emergency attendance, and emergency admissions were persistently low over the study period. CONCLUSIONS: We found substantial disruption to urgent and planned inpatient healthcare provision in hospitals across NHS Scotland. There is the need for urgent policy responses to address continuing unmet health needs and to ensure resilience in the context of future pandemics.

3.
Orphanet J Rare Dis ; 17(1): 166, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789126

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several common conditions have been widely recognised as risk factors for COVID-19 related death, but risks borne by people with rare diseases are largely unknown. Therefore, we aim to estimate the difference of risk for people with rare diseases comparing to the unaffected. METHOD: To estimate the correlation between rare diseases and COVID-19 related death, we performed a retrospective cohort study in Genomics England 100k Genomes participants, who tested positive for Sars-Cov-2 during the first wave (16-03-2020 until 31-July-2020) of COVID-19 pandemic in the UK (n = 283). COVID-19 related mortality rates were calculated in two groups: rare disease patients (n = 158) and unaffected relatives (n = 125). Fisher's exact test and logistic regression was used for univariable and multivariable analysis, respectively. RESULTS: People with rare diseases had increased risk of COVID19-related deaths compared to the unaffected relatives (OR [95% CI] = 3.47 [1.21- 12.2]). Although, the effect was insignificant after adjusting for age and number of comorbidities (OR [95% CI] = 1.94 [0.65-5.80]). Neurology and neurodevelopmental diseases was significantly associated with COVID19-related death in both univariable (OR [95% CI] = 4.07 [1.61-10.38]) and multivariable analysis (OR [95% CI] = 4.22 [1.60-11.08]). CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that rare disease patients, especially ones affected by neurology and neurodevelopmental disorders, in the Genomics England cohort had increased risk of COVID-19 related death during the first wave of the pandemic in UK. The high risk is likely associated with rare diseases themselves, while we cannot rule out possible mediators due to the small sample size. We would like to raise the awareness that rare disease patients may face increased risk for COVID-19 related death. Proper considerations for rare disease patients should be taken when relevant policies (e.g., returning to workplace) are made.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/genetics , Cohort Studies , England , Genomics , Humans , Pandemics , Rare Diseases/epidemiology , Rare Diseases/genetics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003927, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several countries restricted the administration of ChAdOx1 to older age groups in 2021 over safety concerns following case reports and observed versus expected analyses suggesting a possible association with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). Large datasets are required to precisely estimate the association between Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination and CVST due to the extreme rarity of this event. We aimed to accomplish this by combining national data from England, Scotland, and Wales. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We created data platforms consisting of linked primary care, secondary care, mortality, and virological testing data in each of England, Scotland, and Wales, with a combined cohort of 11,637,157 people and 6,808,293 person years of follow-up. The cohort start date was December 8, 2020, and the end date was June 30, 2021. The outcome measure we examined was incident CVST events recorded in either primary or secondary care records. We carried out a self-controlled case series (SCCS) analysis of this outcome following first dose vaccination with ChAdOx1 and BNT162b2. The observation period consisted of an initial 90-day reference period, followed by a 2-week prerisk period directly prior to vaccination, and a 4-week risk period following vaccination. Counts of CVST cases from each country were tallied, then expanded into a full dataset with 1 row for each individual and observation time period. There was a combined total of 201 incident CVST events in the cohorts (29.5 per million person years). There were 81 CVST events in the observation period among those who a received first dose of ChAdOx1 (approximately 16.34 per million doses) and 40 for those who received a first dose of BNT162b2 (approximately 12.60 per million doses). We fitted conditional Poisson models to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Vaccination with ChAdOx1 was associated with an elevated risk of incident CVST events in the 28 days following vaccination, IRR = 1.93 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 to 3.11). We did not find an association between BNT162b2 and CVST in the 28 days following vaccination, IRR = 0.78 (95% CI 0.34 to 1.77). Our study had some limitations. The SCCS study design implicitly controls for variables that are constant over the observation period, but also assumes that outcome events are independent of exposure. This assumption may not be satisfied in the case of CVST, firstly because it is a serious adverse event, and secondly because the vaccination programme in the United Kingdom prioritised the clinically extremely vulnerable and those with underlying health conditions, which may have caused a selection effect for individuals more prone to CVST. Although we pooled data from several large datasets, there was still a low number of events, which may have caused imprecision in our estimates. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed a small elevated risk of CVST events following vaccination with ChAdOx1, but not BNT162b2. Our analysis pooled information from large datasets from England, Scotland, and Wales. This evidence may be useful in risk-benefit analyses of vaccine policies and in providing quantification of risks associated with vaccination to the general public.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/etiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Wales
5.
PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003916, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703635

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown control measures threatened to disrupt routine childhood immunisation programmes with early reports suggesting uptake would fall. In response, public health bodies in Scotland and England collected national data for childhood immunisations on a weekly or monthly basis to allow for rapid analysis of trends. The aim of this study was to use these data to assess the impact of different phases of the pandemic on infant and preschool immunisation uptake rates. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted an observational study using routinely collected data for the year prior to the pandemic (2019) and immediately before (22 January to March 2020), during (23 March to 26 July), and after (27 July to 4 October) the first UK "lockdown". Data were obtained for Scotland from the Public Health Scotland "COVID19 wider impacts on the health care system" dashboard and for England from ImmForm. Five vaccinations delivered at different ages were evaluated; 3 doses of "6-in-1" diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B vaccine (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB) and 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. This represented 439,754 invitations to be vaccinated in Scotland and 4.1 million for England. Uptake during the 2020 periods was compared to the previous year (2019) using binary logistic regression analysis. For Scotland, uptake within 4 weeks of a child becoming eligible by age was analysed along with geographical region and indices of deprivation. For Scotland and England, we assessed whether immunisations were up-to-date at approximately 6 months (all doses 6-in-1) and 16 to 18 months (first MMR) of age. We found that uptake within 4 weeks of eligibility in Scotland for all the 5 vaccines was higher during lockdown than in 2019. Differences ranged from 1.3% for first dose 6-in-1 vaccine (95.3 versus 94%, odds ratio [OR] compared to 2019 1.28, 95% confidence intervals [CIs] 1.18 to 1.39) to 14.3% for second MMR dose (66.1 versus 51.8%, OR compared to 2019 1.8, 95% CI 1.74 to 1.87). Significant increases in uptake were seen across all deprivation levels. In England, fewer children due to receive their immunisations during the lockdown period were up to date at 6 months (6-in-1) or 18 months (first dose MMR). The fall in percentage uptake ranged from 0.5% for first 6-in-1 (95.8 versus 96.3%, OR compared to 2019 0.89, 95% CI 0.86- to 0.91) to 2.1% for third 6-in-1 (86.6 versus 88.7%, OR compared to 2019 0.82, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.83). The use of routinely collected data used in this study was a limiting factor as detailed information on potential confounding factors were not available and we were unable to eliminate the possibility of seasonal trends in immunisation uptake. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed that the national lockdown in Scotland was associated with an increase in timely childhood immunisation uptake; however, in England, uptake fell slightly. Reasons for the improved uptake in Scotland may include active measures taken to promote immunisation at local and national levels during this period and should be explored further. Promoting immunisation uptake and addressing potential vaccine hesitancy is particularly important given the ongoing pandemic and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Routinely Collected Health Data , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs/statistics & numerical data , Infant , Male , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
7.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e050062, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691320

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in December 2019, has caused millions of deaths and severe illness worldwide. Numerous vaccines are currently under development of which a few have now been authorised for population-level administration by several countries. As of 20 September 2021, over 48 million people have received their first vaccine dose and over 44 million people have received their second vaccine dose across the UK. We aim to assess the uptake rates, effectiveness, and safety of all currently approved COVID-19 vaccines in the UK. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will use prospective cohort study designs to assess vaccine uptake, effectiveness and safety against clinical outcomes and deaths. Test-negative case-control study design will be used to assess vaccine effectiveness (VE) against laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Self-controlled case series and retrospective cohort study designs will be carried out to assess vaccine safety against mild-to-moderate and severe adverse events, respectively. Individual-level pseudonymised data from primary care, secondary care, laboratory test and death records will be linked and analysed in secure research environments in each UK nation. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models will be carried out to estimate vaccine uptake levels in relation to various population characteristics. VE estimates against laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection will be generated using a generalised additive logistic model. Time-dependent Cox models will be used to estimate the VE against clinical outcomes and deaths. The safety of the vaccines will be assessed using logistic regression models with an offset for the length of the risk period. Where possible, data will be meta-analysed across the UK nations. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: We obtained approvals from the National Research Ethics Service Committee, Southeast Scotland 02 (12/SS/0201), the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage independent Information Governance Review Panel project number 0911. Concerning English data, University of Oxford is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation and the National Health Service (NHS) Digital Data Security and Protection Policy. This is an approved study (Integrated Research Application ID 301740, Health Research Authority (HRA) Research Ethics Committee 21/HRA/2786). The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Informatics Digital Hub meets NHS Digital's Data Security and Protection Toolkit requirements. In Northern Ireland, the project was approved by the Honest Broker Governance Board, project number 0064. Findings will be made available to national policy-makers, presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , State Medicine
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323239

ABSTRACT

Background: The BNT162b2 mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford-AstraZeneca) COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy against infection in phase 3 clinical trials and are now being used in national vaccination programmes in the UK and several other countries. There is an urgent need to study the ‘real-world’ effects of these vaccines. The aim of our study was to estimate the effectiveness of the first dose of these COVID-19 vaccines in preventing hospital admissions.Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study using the Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) database comprising of linked vaccination, primary care, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing, hospitalisation and mortality records for 5.4 million people in Scotland (covering ~99% of population). A time-dependent Cox model and Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate effectiveness against COVID-19 related hospitalisation (defined as 1- Adjusted Hazard Ratio) following the first dose of vaccine.Findings: The first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine was associated with a vaccine effect of 85% (95% confidence interval [CI] 76 to 91) for COVID-19 related hospitalisation at 28-34 days post-vaccination. Vaccine effect at the same time interval for the ChAdOx1 vaccine was 94% (95% CI 73 to 99). Results of combined vaccine effect for prevention of COVID-19 related hospitalisation were comparable when restricting the analysis to those aged ≥80 years (81%;95% CI 65 to 90 at 28-34 days post-vaccination).Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 vaccines resulted in substantial reductions in the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisation in Scotland.Funding: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council);Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund;Health Data Research UK.Conflict of Interest: AS is a member of the Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer’s COVID-19Advisory Group and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG) Risk Stratification Subgroup. CRS declares funding from the MRC, NIHR, CSO and New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and Health Research Council during the conduct of this study. SVK is co-chair of the Scottish Government’s Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and ethnicity, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) subgroup on ethnicity and acknowledges funding from a NRS Senior Clinical Fellowship, MRC and CSO. All other authors report no conflicts of interest.Ethical Approval: Approvals were obtained from the National Research Ethics Service Committee, Southeast Scotland 02 (reference number: 12/SS/0201) and Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care (reference number: 1920-0279).

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321605

ABSTRACT

Background: The QCovid algorithm is a risk prediction tool for COVID-19 hospitalisation and mortality that can be used to stratify patients by risk into vulnerability groups . We carried out an external validation of the QCovid algorithm in Scotland.Methods: We established a national COVID-19 data platform using individual level data for the population of Scotland (5.4 million residents). Primary care data were linked to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) virology testing, hospitalisation and mortality data. We assessed the performance of the QCovid algorithm in predicting COVID-19 hospitalisation and deaths in our dataset for two time periods: 1 March, 2020 to 30 April, 2020, and 1 May, 2020 to 30 June, 2020.Findings: Our dataset comprised 5,384,819 individuals, representing 99% of the estimated population (5,463,300) resident in Scotland in 2020. The algorithm showed excellent calibration in both time periods with close correspondence between observed and predicted risks. Harrell ’s C for deaths in males and females in the first period was 0.946 (95% CI: 0.941 - 0.951) and 0.925 (95% CI: 0.919 - 0.931) respectively. Harrell’s C for hospitalisations in males and females in the first period was 0.809 (95% CI: 0.801 - 0.817) and 0.816 (95% CI: 0.808 - 0.823) respectively.Interpretation: The QCovid algorithm shows high levels of external validity in predicting the risk of COVID- 19 hospitalisation and death in the population of Scotland.Funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme, funded through the UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Health Data Research UK.Declaration of Interests: Dr. Hippisley-Cox reports grants from MRC, grants from Wellcome Trrust, grants from NIHR, during the conduct of the study;other from ClinRisk Ltd, outside the submitted work. Dr. Sheikh reports grants from NIHR, grants from MRC, grants from HRR UK, during the conduct of the study. All other authors report no conflict of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical permission for this study was granted from South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee 02 [12/SS/0201]. The Public Benefit and Privacy Panel Committee of Public Health Scotland, approved the linkage and analysis of the de-identified datasets for this project [1920-0279].

10.
J Hazard Mater ; 430: 128414, 2022 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665174

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a worldwide public health emergency, and the high transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants has raised serious concerns. Efficient disinfection methods are crucial for the prevention of viral transmission. Herein, pulse power-driven cold atmospheric plasma (CAP), a novel sterilization strategy, was found to potently inactivate SARS-CoV-2-like coronavirus GX_P2V, six strains of major epidemic SARS-CoV-2 variants and even swine coronavirus PEDV and SADS-CoV within 300 s (with inhibition rate more than 99%). We identified four dominant short-lived reactive species, ONOO-, 1O2, O2- and·OH, generated in response to CAP and distinguished their roles in the inactivation of GX_P2V and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD), which is responsible for recognition and binding to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). Our study provides detailed evidence of a novel surface disinfection strategy for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plasma Gases , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disinfection , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Swine
11.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(2): 191-198, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641759

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need to inform policy deliberations about whether children with asthma should be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and, if so, which subset of children with asthma should be prioritised. We were asked by the UK's Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation to undertake an urgent analysis to identify which children with asthma were at increased risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes. METHODS: This national incident cohort study was done in all children in Scotland aged 5-17 years who were included in the linked dataset of Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II). We used data from EAVE II to investigate the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation among children with markers of uncontrolled asthma defined by either previous asthma hospital admission or oral corticosteroid prescription in the previous 2 years. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to derive hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for the association between asthma and COVID-19 hospital admission, stratified by markers of asthma control (previous asthma hospital admission and number of previous prescriptions for oral corticosteroids within 2 years of the study start date). Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, comorbidity, and previous hospital admission. FINDINGS: Between March 1, 2020, and July 27, 2021, 752 867 children were included in the EAVE II dataset, 63 463 (8·4%) of whom had clinician-diagnosed-and-recorded asthma. Of these, 4339 (6·8%) had RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. In those with confirmed infection, 67 (1·5%) were admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Among the 689 404 children without asthma, 40 231 (5·8%) had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, of whom 382 (0·9%) were admitted to hospital with COVID-19. The rate of COVID-19 hospital admission was higher in children with poorly controlled asthma than in those with well controlled asthma or without asthma. When using previous hospital admission for asthma as the marker of uncontrolled asthma, the adjusted HR was 6·40 (95% CI 3·27-12·53) for those with poorly controlled asthma and 1·36 (1·02-1·80) for those with well controlled asthma, compared with those with no asthma. When using oral corticosteroid prescriptions as the marker of uncontrolled asthma, the adjusted HR was 3·38 (1·84-6·21) for those with three or more prescribed courses of corticosteroids, 3·53 (1·87-6·67) for those with two prescribed courses of corticosteroids, 1·52 (0·90-2·57) for those with one prescribed course of corticosteroids, and 1·34 (0·98-1·82) for those with no prescribed course, compared with those with no asthma. INTERPRETATION: School-aged children with asthma with previous recent hospital admission or two or more courses of oral corticosteroids are at markedly increased risk of COVID-19 hospital admission and should be considered a priority for vaccinations. This would translate into 9124 children across Scotland and an estimated 109 448 children across the UK. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council), Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Health Data Research UK, and Scottish Government.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Asthma/complications , Asthma/drug therapy , Asthma/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology
12.
J Infect ; 2020 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639594

ABSTRACT

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at https://www.elsevier.com/about/our-business/policies/article-withdrawal.

13.
Nat Med ; 28(3): 504-512, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625798

ABSTRACT

Population-level data on COVID-19 vaccine uptake in pregnancy and SARS-CoV-2 infection outcomes are lacking. We describe COVID-19 vaccine uptake and SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women in Scotland, using whole-population data from a national, prospective cohort. Between the start of a COVID-19 vaccine program in Scotland, on 8 December 2020 and 31 October 2021, 25,917 COVID-19 vaccinations were given to 18,457 pregnant women. Vaccine coverage was substantially lower in pregnant women than in the general female population of 18-44 years; 32.3% of women giving birth in October 2021 had two doses of vaccine compared to 77.4% in all women. The extended perinatal mortality rate for women who gave birth within 28 d of a COVID-19 diagnosis was 22.6 per 1,000 births (95% CI 12.9-38.5; pandemic background rate 5.6 per 1,000 births; 452 out of 80,456; 95% CI 5.1-6.2). Overall, 77.4% (3,833 out of 4,950; 95% CI 76.2-78.6) of SARS-CoV-2 infections, 90.9% (748 out of 823; 95% CI 88.7-92.7) of SARS-CoV-2 associated with hospital admission and 98% (102 out of 104; 95% CI 92.5-99.7) of SARS-CoV-2 associated with critical care admission, as well as all baby deaths, occurred in pregnant women who were unvaccinated at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Addressing low vaccine uptake rates in pregnant women is imperative to protect the health of women and babies in the ongoing pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Pregnant Women , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
14.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(4): 347-354, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621137

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is considerable uncertainty over whether adults with asthma should be offered booster vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and, if so, who should be prioritised for booster vaccination. We were asked by the UK's Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation to undertake an urgent analysis to identify which adults with asthma were at an increased risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes to inform deliberations on booster COVID-19 vaccines. METHODS: This national incident cohort study was done in all adults in Scotland aged 18 years and older who were included in the linked dataset of Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II). We used data from EAVE II to investigate the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation and the composite outcome of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death from COVID-19 among adults with asthma. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to derive adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for the association between asthma and COVID-19 hospital admission and ICU admission or death, stratified by markers of history of an asthma attack defined by either oral corticosteroid prescription (prednisolone, prednisone, and dexamethasone) in the 2 years before March 1, 2020, or hospitalisation for asthma before March 1, 2020. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, comorbidity, previous hospitalisation, and vaccine status. FINDINGS: Between March 1, 2020, and July 27, 2021, 561 279 (12·7%) of 4 421 663 adults in Scotland had clinician-diagnosed-and-recorded-asthma. Among adults with asthma, 39 253 (7·0%) had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, of whom 4828 (12·3%) were admitted to hospital for COVID-19 (among them, an estimated 600 [12·4%] might have been due to nosocomial infections). Adults with asthma were found to be at an increased risk of COVID-19 hospital admission (adjusted HR 1·27, 95% CI 1·23-1·32) compared with those without asthma. When using oral corticosteroid prescribing in the preceding 2 years as a marker for history of an asthma attack, the adjusted HR was 1·54 (95% CI 1·46-1·61) for those with three or more prescribed courses of oral corticosteroids, 1·37 (1·26-1·48) for those with two prescribed courses, 1·30 (1·23-1·37) for those with one prescribed course, and 1·15 (1·11-1·21) for those without any courses, compared with those aged 18 years or older without asthma. Adults with asthma were found to be at an increased risk of COVID-19 ICU admission or death compared with those without asthma (adjusted HR 1·13, 95 % CI 1·05-1·22). The adjusted HR was 1·44 (95% CI 1·31-1·58) for those with three or more prescribed courses of oral corticosteroids, 1·27 (1·09-1·48) for those with two prescribed courses, 1·04 (0·93-1·16) for those with one prescribed course, and 1·06 (0·97-1·17) for those without any course, compared with adults without asthma. INTERPRETATION: Adults with asthma who have required two or more courses of oral corticosteroids in the previous 2 years or a hospital admission for asthma before March 1, 2020, are at increased risk of both COVID-19 hospitalisation and ICU admission or death. Patients with a recent asthma attack should be considered a priority group for booster COVID-19 vaccines. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council), Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Health Data Research UK, and Scottish Government.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Asthma/drug therapy , Asthma/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology
15.
Vaccine ; 40(8): 1180-1189, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621088

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While population estimates suggest high vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection, the protection for health care workers, who are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, is less understood. METHODS: We conducted a national cohort study of health care workers in Wales (UK) from 7 December 2020 to 30 September 2021. We examined uptake of any COVID-19 vaccine, and the effectiveness of BNT162b2 mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech) against polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We used linked and routinely collected national-scale data within the SAIL Databank. Data were available on 82,959 health care workers in Wales, with exposure extending to 26 weeks after second doses. RESULTS: Overall vaccine uptake was high (90%), with most health care workers receiving theBNT162b2 vaccine (79%). Vaccine uptake differed by age, staff role, socioeconomic status; those aged 50-59 and 60+ years old were 1.6 times more likely to get vaccinated than those aged 16-29. Medical and dental staff, and Allied Health Practitioners were 1.5 and 1.1 times more likely to get vaccinated, compared to nursing and midwifery staff. The effectiveness of the BNT162b2 vaccine was found to be strong and consistent across the characteristics considered; 52% three to six weeks after first dose, 86% from two weeks after second dose, though this declined to 53% from 22 weeks after the second dose. CONCLUSIONS: With some variation in rate of uptake, those who were vaccinated had a reduced risk of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to those unvaccinated. Second dose has provided stronger protection for longer than first dose but our study is consistent with waning from seven weeks onwards.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Cohort Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales/epidemiology , Young Adult
17.
Lancet ; 399(10319): 25-35, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586218

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reports suggest that COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness is decreasing, but whether this reflects waning or new SARS-CoV-2 variants-especially delta (B.1.617.2)-is unclear. We investigated the association between time since two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in Scotland (where delta was dominant), with comparative analyses in Brazil (where delta was uncommon). METHODS: In this retrospective, population-based cohort study in Brazil and Scotland, we linked national databases from the EAVE II study in Scotland; and the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Acute Respiratory Infection Suspected Cases, and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection/Illness datasets in Brazil) for vaccination, laboratory testing, clinical, and mortality data. We defined cohorts of adults (aged ≥18 years) who received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and compared rates of severe COVID-19 outcomes (ie, COVID-19 hospital admission or death) across fortnightly periods, relative to 2-3 weeks after the second dose. Entry to the Scotland cohort started from May 19, 2021, and entry to the Brazil cohort started from Jan 18, 2021. Follow-up in both cohorts was until Oct 25, 2021. Poisson regression was used to estimate rate ratios (RRs) and vaccine effectiveness, with 95% CIs. FINDINGS: 1 972 454 adults received two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in Scotland and 42 558 839 in Brazil, with longer follow-up in Scotland because two-dose vaccination began earlier in Scotland than in Brazil. In Scotland, RRs for severe COVID-19 increased to 2·01 (95% CI 1·54-2·62) at 10-11 weeks, 3·01 (2·26-3·99) at 14-15 weeks, and 5·43 (4·00-7·38) at 18-19 weeks after the second dose. The pattern of results was similar in Brazil, with RRs of 2·29 (2·01-2·61) at 10-11 weeks, 3·10 (2·63-3·64) at 14-15 weeks, and 4·71 (3·83-5·78) at 18-19 weeks after the second dose. In Scotland, vaccine effectiveness decreased from 83·7% (95% CI 79·7-87·0) at 2-3 weeks, to 75·9% (72·9-78·6) at 14-15 weeks, and 63·7% (59·6-67·4) at 18-19 weeks after the second dose. In Brazil, vaccine effectiveness decreased from 86·4% (85·4-87·3) at 2-3 weeks, to 59·7% (54·6-64·2) at 14-15 weeks, and 42·2% (32·4-50·6) at 18-19 weeks. INTERPRETATION: We found waning vaccine protection of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths in both Scotland and Brazil, this becoming evident within three months of the second vaccine dose. Consideration needs to be given to providing booster vaccine doses for people who have received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council), Scottish Government, Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Health Data Research UK, Fiocruz, Fazer o Bem Faz Bem Programme; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. TRANSLATION: For the Portuguese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , /administration & dosage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Scotland/epidemiology , Time Factors , Vaccination
18.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e054861, 2021 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526506

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has caused millions of hospitalisations and deaths globally. A range of vaccines have been developed and are being deployed at scale in the UK to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection, which have reduced risk of infection and severe COVID-19 outcomes. Those with COVID-19 are now being treated with several repurposed drugs based on evidence emerging from recent clinical trials. However, there is currently limited real-world data available related to the use of these drugs in routine clinical practice. The purpose of this study is to address the prevailing knowledge gaps regarding the use of dexamethasone, remdesivir and tocilizumab by conducting an exploratory drug utilisation study, aimed at providing in-depth descriptions of patients receiving these drugs as well as the treatment patterns observed in Scotland. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Retrospective cohort study, comprising adult patients admitted to hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 across five Scottish Health Boards using data from in-hospital ePrescribing linked to the Early Estimation of Vaccine and Anti-Viral Effectiveness (EAVE II) COVID-19 surveillance platform. The primary outcome will be exposure to the medicines of interest (dexamethasone, remdesivir, tocilizumab), either alone or in combination; exposure will be described in terms of drug(s) of choice; prescribed and administered dose; treatment duration; and any changes in treatment, for example, dose escalation and/or switching to an alternative drug. Analyses will primarily be descriptive in nature. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical and information governance approvals have been obtained by the National Research Ethics Service Committee, South East Scotland 02 and the Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care, respectively. Findings from this study will be presented at academic and clinical conferences, and to the funders and other interested parties as appropriate; study findings will also be published in peer-reviewed journals. Publications will be available on the EAVE II website (https://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/eave-ii/key-outputs/our-publications), alongside lay summaries and infographics aimed at the general public. Press releases will also be considered, if appropriate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland
19.
Thorax ; 77(5): 497-504, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526530

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The QCovid algorithm is a risk prediction tool that can be used to stratify individuals by risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation and mortality. Version 1 of the algorithm was trained using data covering 10.5 million patients in England in the period 24 January 2020 to 30 April 2020. We carried out an external validation of version 1 of the QCovid algorithm in Scotland. METHODS: We established a national COVID-19 data platform using individual level data for the population of Scotland (5.4 million residents). Primary care data were linked to reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) virology testing, hospitalisation and mortality data. We assessed the performance of the QCovid algorithm in predicting COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in our dataset for two time periods matching the original study: 1 March 2020 to 30 April 2020, and 1 May 2020 to 30 June 2020. RESULTS: Our dataset comprised 5 384 819 individuals, representing 99% of the estimated population (5 463 300) resident in Scotland in 2020. The algorithm showed good calibration in the first period, but systematic overestimation of risk in the second period, prior to temporal recalibration. Harrell's C for deaths in females and males in the first period was 0.95 (95% CI 0.94 to 0.95) and 0.93 (95% CI 0.92 to 0.93), respectively. Harrell's C for hospitalisations in females and males in the first period was 0.81 (95% CI 0.80 to 0.82) and 0.82 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.82), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Version 1 of the QCovid algorithm showed high levels of discrimination in predicting the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in adults resident in Scotland for the original two time periods studied, but is likely to need ongoing recalibration prospectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Algorithms , Calibration , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Scotland/epidemiology
20.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292399

ABSTRACT

We describe SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccine uptake in Scotland in a prospective cohort of all pregnant women in Scotland drawn from national databases. As of mid-October 2021, the Covid-19 in pregnancy in Scotland (COPS) cohort included linked data on a total of 139,136 pregnancies in 126,749 women. Up to September 30, 2021, a total of 22,779 COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered to 16,229 pregnant women. Vaccine coverage was substantially lower in pregnant women than in the general female population of reproductive age (23.7% of women giving birth in September 2021 were fully vaccinated compared to 74.9 % in women 18-44 years). Of the 4,274 cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy (confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 viral reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) between December 2020 (the month the COVID-19 vaccination programme started in Scotland) and September 2021 inclusive, 629 women (14.7%) were admitted to hospital and 89 (2.1%) were admitted to critical care. Of the COVID-19 cases occurring in pregnant women, 81.7% (3,491/4,274;95% CI 80.5-82.8) were in unvaccinated women. Of the COVID-19 associated hospital admissions, 93.0% (585/629;95% CI 90.7-94.8) were in women who were unvaccinated at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Of the COVID-19 associated critical care admissions 98.9% (88/89;95% CI 93.9-100) were in women who were unvaccinated at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. The extended perinatal mortality rate for women who gave birth within 28 days of COVID-19 diagnosis was 15.9 per 1000 births (95% CI 7.8 to 31.0;background rate in 2020 6.3 per 1,000 total births [95% CI 5.7-7.1];background rate 2019 5.7 per 1,000 total births [95% CI 5.0-6.4]). All baby deaths occurred after pregnancies in women who were unvaccinated at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Addressing low vaccine uptake rates in pregnant women is imperative to protect the health of women and babies.

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