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PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259990, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518365


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccination in many countries, including England, has been prioritised primarily by age. However, people of the same age can have very different health statuses. Frailty is a commonly used metric of health and has been found to be more strongly associated with mortality than age among COVID-19 inpatients. METHODS: We compared the number of first vaccine doses administered across the 135 NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) of England to both the over 50 population and the estimated frail population in each area. Area-based frailty estimates were generated using the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing (ELSA), a national survey of older people. We also compared the number of doses to the number of people with other risk factors associated with COVID-19: atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, learning disabilities, obesity and smoking status. RESULTS: We estimate that after 79 days of the vaccine program, across all Clinical Commissioning Group areas, the number of people who received a first vaccine per frail person ranged from 4.4 (95% CI 4.0-4.8) and 20.1 (95% CI 18.3-21.9). The prevalences of other risk factors were also poorly associated with the prevalence of vaccination across England. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination with age-based priority created area-based inequities in the number of doses administered relative to the number of people who are frail or have other risk factors associated with COVID-19. As frailty has previously been found to be more strongly associated with mortality than age for COVID-19 inpatients, an age-based priority system may increase the risk of mortality in some areas during the vaccine roll-out period. Authorities planning COVID-19 vaccination programmes should consider the disadvantages of an age-based priority system.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Vaccination , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , England/epidemiology , Geography , Humans , Prevalence , Risk Factors
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e045579, 2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406655


OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether National Early Warning Scores (NEWS/NEWS2) could contribute to COVID-19 surveillance in care homes. SETTING: 460 care home units using the same software package to collect data on residents, from 46 local authority areas in England. PARTICIPANTS: 6464 care home residents with at least one NEWS recording. EXPOSURE MEASURE: 29 656 anonymised person-level NEWS from 29 December 2019 to 20 May 2020 with component physiological measures: systolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse rate, temperature and oxygen saturation. Baseline values for each measure calculated using 80th and 20th centile scores before March 2020. OUTCOME MEASURE: Cross-correlation comparison of time series with Office for National Statistics weekly reported registered deaths of care home residents where COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death, and all other deaths (excluding COVID-19) up to 10 May 2020. RESULTS: Deaths due to COVID-19 were registered from 23 March 2020 in the local authority areas represented in the study. Between 23 March 2020 and 10 May 2020, there were 5753 deaths (1532 involving COVID-19 and 4221 other causes). We observed a rise in the proportion of above-baseline NEWS beginning 16 March 2020, followed 2 weeks later by an increase in registered deaths (cross-correlation of r=0.82, p<0.05 for a 2 week lag) in corresponding local authorities. The proportion of above-baseline oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and temperature measurements also increased approximately 2 weeks before peaks in deaths. CONCLUSIONS: NEWS could contribute to COVID-19 disease surveillance in care homes during the pandemic. Oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and temperature could be prioritised as they appear to signal rise in mortality almost as well as NEWS. This study reinforces the need to collate data from care homes, to monitor and protect residents' health. Further work using individual level outcome data is needed to evaluate the role of NEWS in the early detection of resident illness.

COVID-19 , Early Warning Score , England/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2