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1.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 146, 2022 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: More doses of CoronaVac have been administered worldwide than any other COVID-19 vaccine. However, the effectiveness of COVID-19 inactivated vaccines in pregnant women is still unknown. We estimated the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of CoronaVac against symptomatic and severe COVID-19 in pregnant women in Brazil. METHODS: We conducted a test-negative design study in all pregnant women aged 18-49 years with COVID-19-related symptoms in Brazil from March 15, 2021, to October 03, 2021, linking records of negative and positive SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to national vaccination records. We also linked records of test-positive cases with notifications of severe, hospitalised or fatal COVID-19. Using logistic regression, we estimated the adjusted odds ratio and VE against symptomatic COVID-19 and against severe COVID-19 by comparing vaccine status in test-negative subjects to test-positive symptomatic cases and severe cases. RESULTS: Of the 19,838 tested pregnant women, 7424 (37.4%) tested positive for COVID-19 and 588 (7.9%) had severe disease. Only 83% of pregnant women who received the first dose of CoronaVac completed the vaccination scheme. A single dose of the CoronaVac vaccine was not effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The effectiveness of two doses of CoronaVac was 41% (95% CI 27.1-52.2) against symptomatic COVID-19 and 85% (95% CI 59.5-94.8) against severe COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: A complete regimen of CoronaVac in pregnant women was effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and highly effective against severe illness in a setting that combined high disease burden and marked COVID-19-related maternal deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Adolescent , Adult , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5192, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764203

ABSTRACT

Human behaviour is known to be crucial in the propagation of infectious diseases through respiratory or close-contact routes like the current SARS-CoV-2 virus. Intervention measures implemented to curb the spread of the virus mainly aim at limiting the number of close contacts, until vaccine roll-out is complete. Our main objective was to assess the relationships between SARS-CoV-2 perceptions and social contact behaviour in Belgium. Understanding these relationships is crucial to maximize interventions' effectiveness, e.g. by tailoring public health communication campaigns. In this study, we surveyed a representative sample of adults in Belgium in two longitudinal surveys (survey 1 in April 2020 to August 2020, and survey 2 in November 2020 to April 2021). Generalized linear mixed effects models were used to analyse the two surveys. Participants with low and neutral perceptions on perceived severity made a significantly higher number of social contacts as compared to participants with high levels of perceived severity after controlling for other variables. Our results highlight the key role of perceived severity on social contact behaviour during a pandemic. Nevertheless, additional research is required to investigate the impact of public health communication on severity of COVID-19 in terms of changes in social contact behaviour.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003907, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714705

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the United Kingdom government imposed public health policies in England to reduce social contacts in hopes of curbing virus transmission. We conducted a repeated cross-sectional study to measure contact patterns weekly from March 2020 to March 2021 to estimate the impact of these policies, covering 3 national lockdowns interspersed by periods of less restrictive policies. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The repeated cross-sectional survey data were collected using online surveys of representative samples of the UK population by age and gender. Survey participants were recruited by the online market research company Ipsos MORI through internet-based banner and social media ads and email campaigns. The participant data used for this analysis are restricted to those who reported living in England. We calculated the mean daily contacts reported using a (clustered) bootstrap and fitted a censored negative binomial model to estimate age-stratified contact matrices and estimate proportional changes to the basic reproduction number under controlled conditions using the change in contacts as a scaling factor. To put the findings in perspective, we discuss contact rates recorded throughout the year in terms of previously recorded rates from the POLYMOD study social contact study. The survey recorded 101,350 observations from 19,914 participants who reported 466,710 contacts over 53 weeks. We observed changes in social contact patterns in England over time and by participants' age, personal risk factors, and perception of risk. The mean reported contacts for adults 18 to 59 years old ranged between 2.39 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.20 to 2.60) contacts and 4.93 (95% CI 4.65 to 5.19) contacts during the study period. The mean contacts for school-age children (5 to 17 years old) ranged from 3.07 (95% CI 2.89 to 3.27) to 15.11 (95% CI 13.87 to 16.41). This demonstrates a sustained decrease in social contacts compared to a mean of 11.08 (95% CI 10.54 to 11.57) contacts per participant in all age groups combined as measured by the POLYMOD social contact study in 2005 to 2006. Contacts measured during periods of lockdowns were lower than in periods of eased social restrictions. The use of face coverings outside the home has remained high since the government mandated use in some settings in July 2020. The main limitations of this analysis are the potential for selection bias, as participants are recruited through internet-based campaigns, and recall bias, in which participants may under- or overreport the number of contacts they have made. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed that recorded contacts reduced dramatically compared to prepandemic levels (as measured in the POLYMOD study), with changes in reported contacts correlated with government interventions throughout the pandemic. Despite easing of restrictions in the summer of 2020, the mean number of reported contacts only returned to about half of that observed prepandemic at its highest recorded level. The CoMix survey provides a unique repeated cross-sectional data set for a full year in England, from the first day of the first lockdown, for use in statistical analyses and mathematical modelling of COVID-19 and other diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Social Interaction , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Attitude to Health , Cross-Sectional Studies , England , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Psychological , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295679

ABSTRACT

Background: The effectiveness of Covid-19 inactivated vaccines in pregnant women is unknown. We estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) of CoronaVac against symptomatic and severe Covid-19 and in preventing progression from symptomatic to severe Covid-19 in pregnant women in Brazil. <br><br>Methods: We conducted a test-negative design study in all pregnant women aged 18 to 49 years in Brazil, linking records of negative and positive SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to national vaccination records. We also linked records of test positive cases with notification of severe, hospitalized or fatal Covid-19. Using logistic regression, we estimated adjusted odds and VE against symptomatic Covid-19 by comparing vaccine status in test positive (confirmed cases) to that in subjects with a negative test result. We also calculated the odds/VE against progression by comparing vaccine status in symptomatic cases to that in severe Covid-19 cases. <br><br>Results: Of 19838 tested pregnant women, 7424 (37.4%) tested positive for Covid-19 and 588 (7.9%) had severe disease. Only 83% of pregnant women who received a first dose of CoronaVac completed the vaccination scheme. A single dose of the CoronaVac vaccine was not effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19. Effectiveness of two doses of CoronaVac was 41% (95% CI 27.1- 52.2) against symptomatic Covid-19, 85% (95% CI 59.5-94.8) against severe Covid-19 and (75%;95% CI 27.9- 91.2) in preventing progression to severe Covid-19 among those infected. <br><br>Conclusion: A complete regimen of CoronaVac in pregnant women was effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, and highly effective against severe illness in a setting that combines high disease burden and elevated Covid-19 related maternal deaths.<br><br>Funding Information: This study is part of the VigiVac Fiocruz program, partially supported by a donation from the "Fazer o bem faz bem" program. EPS is funded by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number 213589/Z/18/Z]. <br><br>Declaration of Interests: We declare no competing interests. VO, VB, MB, and MB-N are employees from Fiocruz, a federal public institution, which manufactures Vaxzevria in Brazil, through a full technology transfer agreement with AstraZeneca<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: This study analysed de-identified data and was approved by the National Ethics committee (CONEP) (CAAE registration no. 50199321.9.0000.0040).<br><br>

5.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294799

ABSTRACT

Background During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government imposed public health policies in England to reduce social contacts in hopes of curbing virus transmission. We measured contact patterns weekly from March 2020 to March 2021 to estimate the impact of these policies, covering three national lockdowns interspersed by periods of lower restrictions. Methods Data were collected using online surveys of representative samples of the UK population by age and gender. We calculated the mean daily contacts reported using a (clustered) bootstrap and fitted a censored negative binomial model to estimate age-stratified contact matrices and estimate proportional changes to the basic reproduction number under controlled conditions using the change in contacts as a scaling factor. Results The survey recorded 101,350 observations from 19,914 participants who reported 466,710 contacts over 53 weeks. Contact patterns changed over time and by participants’ age, personal risk factors, and perception of risk. The mean of reported contacts among adults have reduced compared to previous surveys with adults aged 18 to 59 reporting a mean of 2.39 (95% CI 2.20 - 2.60) contacts to 4.93 (95% CI 4.65 - 5.19) contacts, and the mean contacts for school-age children was 3.07 (95% CI 2.89 - 3.27) to 15.11 (95% CI 13.87 - 16.41). The use of face coverings outside the home has remained high since the government mandated use in some settings in July 2020. Conclusions The CoMix survey provides a unique longitudinal data set for a full year since the first lockdown for use in statistical analyses and mathematical modelling of COVID-19 and other diseases. Recorded contacts reduced dramatically compared to pre-pandemic levels, with changes correlated to government interventions throughout the pandemic. Despite easing of restrictions in the summer of 2020, mean reported contacts only returned to about half of that observed pre-pandemic.

6.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 299, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511749

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To reduce the coronavirus disease burden in England, along with many other countries, the government implemented a package of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that have also impacted other transmissible infectious diseases such as norovirus. It is unclear what future norovirus disease incidence is likely to look like upon lifting these restrictions. METHODS: Here we use a mathematical model of norovirus fitted to community incidence data in England to project forward expected incidence based on contact surveys that have been collected throughout 2020-2021. RESULTS: We report that susceptibility to norovirus infection has likely increased between March 2020 and mid-2021. Depending upon assumptions of future contact patterns incidence of norovirus that is similar to pre-pandemic levels or an increase beyond what has been previously reported is likely to occur once restrictions are lifted. Should adult contact patterns return to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, the incidence of norovirus will be similar to previous years. If contact patterns return to pre-pandemic levels, there is a potential for the expected annual incidence to be up to 2-fold larger than in a typical year. The age-specific incidence is similar across all ages. CONCLUSIONS: Continued national surveillance for endemic diseases such as norovirus will be essential after NPIs are lifted to allow healthcare services to adequately prepare for a potential increase in cases and hospital pressures beyond what is typically experienced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Norovirus , England/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2
7.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 254, 2021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496170

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 dynamics are driven by human behaviour. Social contact data are of utmost importance in the context of transmission models of close-contact infections. METHODS: Using online representative panels of adults reporting on their own behaviour as well as parents reporting on the behaviour of one of their children, we collect contact mixing (CoMix) behaviour in various phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in over 20 European countries. We provide these timely, repeated observations using an online platform: SOCRATES-CoMix. In addition to providing cleaned datasets to researchers, the platform allows users to extract contact matrices that can be stratified by age, type of day, intensity of the contact and gender. These observations provide insights on the relative impact of recommended or imposed social distance measures on contacts and can inform mathematical models on epidemic spread. CONCLUSION: These data provide essential information for policymakers to balance non-pharmaceutical interventions, economic activity, mental health and wellbeing, during vaccine rollout.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Child , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Science ; 372(6538)2021 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476375

ABSTRACT

A severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant, VOC 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7), emerged in southeast England in September 2020 and is rapidly spreading toward fixation. Using a variety of statistical and dynamic modeling approaches, we estimate that this variant has a 43 to 90% (range of 95% credible intervals, 38 to 130%) higher reproduction number than preexisting variants. A fitted two-strain dynamic transmission model shows that VOC 202012/01 will lead to large resurgences of COVID-19 cases. Without stringent control measures, including limited closure of educational institutions and a greatly accelerated vaccine rollout, COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths across England in the first 6 months of 2021 were projected to exceed those in 2020. VOC 202012/01 has spread globally and exhibits a similar transmission increase (59 to 74%) in Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , England/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology , Viral Load , Young Adult
9.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 233, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403237

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Schools were closed in England on 4 January 2021 as part of increased national restrictions to curb transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The UK government reopened schools on 8 March. Although there was evidence of lower individual-level transmission risk amongst children compared to adults, the combined effects of this with increased contact rates in school settings and the resulting impact on the overall transmission rate in the population were not clear. METHODS: We measured social contacts of > 5000 participants weekly from March 2020, including periods when schools were both open and closed, amongst other restrictions. We combined these data with estimates of the susceptibility and infectiousness of children compared with adults to estimate the impact of reopening schools on the reproduction number. RESULTS: Our analysis indicates that reopening all schools under the same measures as previous periods that combined lockdown with face-to-face schooling would be likely to increase the reproduction number substantially. Assuming a baseline of 0.8, we estimated a likely increase to between 1.0 and 1.5 with the reopening of all schools or to between 0.9 and 1.2 reopening primary or secondary schools alone. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that reopening schools would likely halt the fall in cases observed between January and March 2021 and would risk a return to rising infections, but these estimates relied heavily on the latest estimates or reproduction number and the validity of the susceptibility and infectiousness profiles we used at the time of reopening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Communicable Disease Control , England/epidemiology , Humans , Reproduction , Schools
10.
Science ; 371(6538):149-149, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1181922

ABSTRACT

The article discusses about the novel variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that caused COVID-19. One of these variant of concern was B.1.1.7 which was first detected in southeast England and spread to become the dominant lineage in the United Kingdom in just a few months.

11.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 52, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090667

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: England's COVID-19 response transitioned from a national lockdown to localised interventions. In response to rising cases, these were supplemented by national restrictions on contacts (the Rule of Six), then 10 pm closing for bars and restaurants, and encouragement to work from home. These were quickly followed by a 3-tier system applying different restrictions in different localities. As cases continued to rise, a second national lockdown was declared. We used a national survey to quantify the impact of these restrictions on epidemiologically relevant contacts. METHODS: We compared paired measures on setting-specific contacts before and after each restriction started and tested for differences using paired permutation tests on the mean change in contacts and the proportion of individuals decreasing their contacts. RESULTS: Following the imposition of each measure, individuals tended to report fewer contacts than they had before. However, the magnitude of the changes was relatively small and variable. For instance, although early closure of bars and restaurants appeared to have no measurable effect on contacts, the work from home directive reduced mean daily work contacts by 0.99 (95% confidence interval CI] 0.03-1.94), and the Rule of Six reduced non-work and school contacts by a mean of 0.25 (0.01-0.5) per day. Whilst Tier 3 appeared to also reduce non-work and school contacts, the evidence for an effect of the lesser restrictions (Tiers 1 and 2) was much weaker. There may also have been some evidence of saturation of effects, with those who were in Tier 1 (least restrictive) reducing their contacts markedly when they entered lockdown, which was not reflected in similar changes in those who were already under tighter restrictions (Tiers 2 and 3). CONCLUSIONS: The imposition of various local and national measures in England during the summer and autumn of 2020 has gradually reduced contacts. However, these changes are smaller than the initial lockdown in March. This may partly be because many individuals were already starting from a lower number of contacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Quarantine/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Schools/trends , Workplace , Young Adult
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