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1.
Vaccine ; 41(28): 4151-4157, 2023 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235979

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the distribution of routine immunizations globally. Multi-country studies assessing a wide spectrum of vaccines and their coverage rates are needed to determine global performance in achieving vaccination goals. METHODS: Global vaccine coverage data for 16 antigens were obtained from WHO/UNICEF Estimates of National Immunization Coverage. Tobit regression was performed for all country-antigen pairs for which data were continuously available between 2015-2020 or 2015-2021 to predict vaccine coverage in 2020/2021. Vaccines for which multi-dose data were available were assessed to determine whether vaccine coverage for subsequent doses were lower than that of first doses. RESULTS: Vaccine coverage was significantly lower-than-predicted for 13/16 antigens in 2020 and all assessed antigens in 2021. Lower-than-predicted vaccine coverage was typically observed in South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. There was a statistically significant coverage drop for subsequent doses of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, pneumococcus, and rotavirus vaccines compared to first doses in 2020 and 2021. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic exerted larger disruptions to routine vaccination services in 2021 than in 2020. Global efforts will be needed to recoup vaccine coverage losses sustained during the pandemic and broaden vaccine access in areas where coverage was previously inadequate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccination Coverage , Humans , Infant , Pandemics/prevention & control , Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine , Immunization Schedule , Immunization Programs , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination
2.
Sex Transm Infect ; 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260520

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has had variable effects on the rates of STIs reported across the globe. This study sought to assess how the number of STI reports changed during the pandemic in Japan. METHODS: We used national infectious disease surveillance data from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (Tokyo, Japan) for the period between January 2013 and December 2021. We compared reported rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, condyloma acuminata and genital herpes, as well as total notifications for HIV/AIDS and syphilis during the pandemic versus previous years in Japan. We used a quasi-Poisson regression to determine whether any given week or month between January 2018 and December 2021 had a significant excess or deficit of STIs. Notification values above or below the 95% upper and lower prediction thresholds were considered as statistically significant. The start of the pandemic was defined as January 2020. RESULTS: Chlamydia generally remained within predicted range during the pandemic period. Reporting of gonorrhoea was significantly higher than expected throughout early-to-mid 2021 but otherwise generally remained within predicted range prior to 2021. Condyloma, herpes and HIV/AIDS reporting were transiently significantly lower than expected throughout the pandemic period, but no significant periods of higher-than-expected reporting were detected. Syphilis showed widespread evidence of significantly lower-than-predicted reporting throughout 2020 but eventually reversed, showing significantly higher-than-predicted reporting in mid-to-late 2021. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with variable changes in the reporting of STIs in Japan. Higher-than-predicted reporting was more likely to be observed in the later phases of the pandemic. These changes may have been attributable to pandemic-related changes in sexual behaviour and decreased STI clinic attendance and testing, but further research on the long-term impact of the pandemic on STIs is necessary.

3.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 3: 100016, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2287920

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On April 7, 2020, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Given the nation-wide spread of the coronavirus in major Japanese cities and the rapid increase in the number of cases with untraceable infection routes, large-scale monitoring for capturing the current epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in Japan is urgently required. METHODS: A chatbot-based healthcare system named COOPERA (COvid-19: Operation for Personalized Empowerment to Render smart prevention And AN care seeking) was developed to surveil the Japanese epidemiological situation in real-time. COOPERA asked questions regarding personal information, location, preventive actions, COVID-19 related symptoms and their residence. Empirical Bayes estimates of the age-sex-standardized incidence rate and disease mapping approach using scan statistics were utilized to identify the geographical distribution of the symptoms in Tokyo and their spatial correlation r with the identified COVID-19 cases. FINDINGS: We analyzed 353,010 participants from Tokyo recruited from 27th March to 6th April 2020. The mean (SD) age of participants was 42.7 (12.3), and 63.4%, 36.4% or 0.2% were female, male, or others, respectively. 95.6% of participants had no subjective symptoms. We identified several geographical clusters with high spatial correlation (r = 0.9), especially in downtown areas in central Tokyo such as Shibuya and Shinjuku. INTERPRETATION: With the global spread of COVID-19, medical resources are being depleted. A new system to monitor the epidemiological situation, COOPERA, can provide insights to assist political decision to tackle the epidemic. In addition, given that Japan has not had a strong lockdown policy to weaken the spread of the infection, our result would be useful for preparing for the second wave in other countries during the next flu season without a strong lockdown. FUNDING: The present work was supported in part by a grant from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H29-Gantaisaku-ippan-009).

4.
Public health ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2274384

ABSTRACT

Objective The COVID-19 pandemic placed an enormous strain on healthcare systems and raised concerns for delays in the management of patients with acute cerebrovascular events. In this study, we investigated cerebrovascular excess deaths in Japan. Study design Vital mortality statistics from January 2012 to May 2022 were obtained from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Methods Using quasi-Poisson regression models, we estimated the expected weekly number of cerebrovascular deaths in Japan from January 2020 through May 2022 by place of death. Estimates were calculated for deaths in all locations, as well as for deaths in hospitals, in geriatric health service facilities, and at home. The age subgroups of ≥75 and <75 years were also considered. Weeks with a statistically significant excess of cerebrovascular deaths were determined when the weekly number of observed deaths exceeded the upper bound of 97.5% prediction interval. Results Excess deaths were noted in June 2021 and became more pronounced from February 2022 onwards. The trend was notable among those aged ≥75 years and for those who died in hospitals. With respect to the location of deaths, the excess was significant in geriatric health services facilities from April 2020 to June 2021, while no evidence of excess hospital deaths was observed during the same period. Conclusions Beginning in late 2021, excess cerebrovascular deaths coincided with the spread of the Omicron variant and may be associated with increased healthcare burden. In 2020, COVID-19 altered the geography of cerebrovascular deaths, with fewer people dying in hospitals and more dying in geriatric health service facilities and at home.

5.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 516, 2023 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2283485

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evidence has demonstrated that excess sodium intake is associated with development of several non-communicable diseases. The main source of sodium is salt. Therefore, reducing salt intake in foods is an important global public health effort to achieve sodium reduction and improve health. This study aimed to model salt intake reduction with 'umami' substances among Japanese adults. The umami substances considered in this study include glutamate or monosodium glutamates (MSG), calcium diglutamate (CDG), inosinate, and guanylate. METHODS: A total of 21,805 participants aged 57.8 years on average from the National Health and Nutrition Survey was used in the analysis. First, we employed a multivariable linear regression approach with overall salt intake (g/day) as a dependent variable, adjusting for food items and other covariates to estimate the contribution of salt intake from each food item that was selected through an extensive literature review. Assuming the participants already consume low-sodium products, we considered three scenarios in which salt intake could be reduced with the additional umami substances up to 30%, 60% and 100%. We estimated the total amount of population-level salt reduction for each scenario by age and gender. Under the 100% scenario, the Japan's achievement rates against the national and global salt intake reduction goals were also calculated. RESULTS: Without compromising the taste, the 100% or universal incorporation of umami substances into food items reduced the salt intake of Japanese adults by 12.8-22.3% at the population-level average, which is equivalent to 1.27-2.22 g of salt reduction. The universal incorporation of umami substances into food items changed daily mean salt intake of the total population from 9.95 g to 7.73 g: 10.83 g to 8.40 g for men and 9.21 g to 7.17 g for women, respectively. This study suggested that approximately 60% of Japanese adults could achieve the national dietary goal of 8 g/day, while only 7.6% would meet the global recommendation of 5.0 g/day. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides essential information on the potential salt reduction with umami substances. The universal incorporation of umami substances into food items would enable the Japanese to achieve the national dietary goal. However, the reduced salt intake level still falls short of the global dietary recommendation.


Subject(s)
East Asian People , Sodium Chloride, Dietary , Adult , Male , Humans , Female , Cross-Sectional Studies , Food , Sodium , Taste
6.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 17(2): e13094, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2238741

ABSTRACT

Background: Based on routine surveillance data, Japan has been affected much less by COVID-19 compared with other countries. To validate this, we aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and examine sociodemographic factors associated with cumulative infection in Japan. Methods: A population-based serial cross-sectional seroepidemiological investigation was conducted in five prefectures in December 2021 (pre-Omicron) and February-March 2022 (Omicron [BA.1/BA.2]-peak). Anti-nucleocapsid and anti-spike antibodies were measured to detect infection-induced and vaccine/infection-induced antibodies, respectively. Logistic regression was used to identify associations between various factors and past infection. Results: Among 16 296 participants (median age: 53 [43-64] years), overall prevalence of infection-induced antibodies was 2.2% (95% CI: 1.9-2.5%) in December 2021 and 3.5% (95% CI: 3.1-3.9%) in February-March 2022. Factors associated with past infection included those residing in urban prefectures (Tokyo: aOR 3.37 [95% CI: 2.31-4.91], Osaka: aOR 3.23 [95% CI: 2.17-4.80]), older age groups (60s: aOR 0.47 [95% CI 0.29-0.74], 70s: aOR 0.41 [95% CI 0.24-0.70]), being vaccinated (twice: aOR 0.41 [95% CI: 0.28-0.61], three times: aOR 0.21 [95% CI: 0.12-0.36]), individuals engaged in occupations such as long-term care workers (aOR: 3.13 [95% CI: 1.47-6.66]), childcare workers (aOR: 3.63 [95% CI: 1.60-8.24]), food service workers (aOR: 3.09 [95% CI: 1.50-6.35]), and history of household contact (aOR: 26.4 [95% CI: 20.0-34.8]) or non-household contact (aOR: 5.21 [95% CI:3.80-7.14]) in February-March 2022. Almost all vaccinated individuals (15 670/15 681) acquired binding antibodies with higher titers among booster dose recipients. Conclusions: Before Omicron, the cumulative burden was >10 times lower in Japan (2.2%) compared with the US (33%), the UK (25%), or global estimates (45%), but most developed antibodies owing to vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Aged , Middle Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Japan/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral
7.
Influenza and other respiratory viruses ; 17(2), 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2227626

ABSTRACT

Background Based on routine surveillance data, Japan has been affected much less by COVID‐19 compared with other countries. To validate this, we aimed to estimate SARS‐CoV‐2 seroprevalence and examine sociodemographic factors associated with cumulative infection in Japan. Methods A population‐based serial cross‐sectional seroepidemiological investigation was conducted in five prefectures in December 2021 (pre‐Omicron) and February–March 2022 (Omicron [BA.1/BA.2]‐peak). Anti‐nucleocapsid and anti‐spike antibodies were measured to detect infection‐induced and vaccine/infection‐induced antibodies, respectively. Logistic regression was used to identify associations between various factors and past infection. Results Among 16 296 participants (median age: 53 [43–64] years), overall prevalence of infection‐induced antibodies was 2.2% (95% CI: 1.9–2.5%) in December 2021 and 3.5% (95% CI: 3.1–3.9%) in February–March 2022. Factors associated with past infection included those residing in urban prefectures (Tokyo: aOR 3.37 [95% CI: 2.31–4.91], Osaka: aOR 3.23 [95% CI: 2.17–4.80]), older age groups (60s: aOR 0.47 [95% CI 0.29–0.74], 70s: aOR 0.41 [95% CI 0.24–0.70]), being vaccinated (twice: aOR 0.41 [95% CI: 0.28–0.61], three times: aOR 0.21 [95% CI: 0.12–0.36]), individuals engaged in occupations such as long‐term care workers (aOR: 3.13 [95% CI: 1.47–6.66]), childcare workers (aOR: 3.63 [95% CI: 1.60–8.24]), food service workers (aOR: 3.09 [95% CI: 1.50–6.35]), and history of household contact (aOR: 26.4 [95% CI: 20.0–34.8]) or non‐household contact (aOR: 5.21 [95% CI:3.80–7.14]) in February–March 2022. Almost all vaccinated individuals (15 670/15 681) acquired binding antibodies with higher titers among booster dose recipients. Conclusions Before Omicron, the cumulative burden was >10 times lower in Japan (2.2%) compared with the US (33%), the UK (25%), or global estimates (45%), but most developed antibodies owing to vaccination.

8.
J Epidemiol ; 32(11): 510-518, 2022 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079950

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increases in human mobility have been linked to rises in novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission. The pandemic era in Japan has been characterized by changes in inter-prefectural mobility across state of emergency (SOE) declarations and travel campaigns, but they have yet to be characterized. METHODS: Using Yahoo Japan mobility data extracted from the smartphones of more than 10 million Japanese residents, we calculated the monthly number of inter-prefectural travel instances, stratified by residential prefecture and destination prefecture. We then used this adjacency matrix to calculate two network connectedness metrics, closeness centrality and effective distance, that reliably predict disease transmission. RESULTS: Inter-prefectural mobility and network connectedness decreased most considerably during the first SOE, but this decrease dampened with each successive SOE. Mobility and network connectedness increased during the Go To Travel campaign. Travel volume between distant prefectures decreased more than travel between prefectures with geographic proximity. Closeness centrality was found to be negatively correlated with the rate of COVID-19 infection across prefectures, with the strength of this association increasing in tandem with the infection rate. Changes in effective distance were more visible among geographically isolated prefectures (Hokkaido and Okinawa) than among metropolitan, central prefectures (Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, and Fukuoka). CONCLUSION: The magnitude of reductions in human mobility decreased with each subsequent state of emergency, consistent with pandemic fatigue. The association between network connectedness and rates of COVID-19 infection remained visible throughout the entirety of the pandemic period, suggesting that inter-prefectural mobility may have contributed to disease spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Travel , Tokyo
9.
BMJ Open ; 12(9): e061444, 2022 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038307

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games (23 July-8 August 2021) were held in the middle of Japan's fifth wave of COVID-19, when the number of cases was on the rise, and coincided with the fourth state of emergency implemented by the host city, Tokyo. AIM: This study aimed to assess whether the hosting of the Games was associated with a change in the number of COVID-19 cases in Japan using a synthetic control method. METHODS: A weighted average of control countries with a variety of predictors was used to estimate the counterfactual trajectory of daily COVID-19 cases per 1 000 000 population in the absence of the Games in Japan. Outcome and predictor data were extracted using official and open sources spanning several countries. The predictors comprise the most recent country-level annual or daily data accessible during the Games, including the stringency of the government's COVID-19 response, testing capacity and vaccination capacity; human mobility index; electoral democracy index and demographic, socioeconomic, health and weather information. After excluding countries with missing data, 42 countries were ultimately used as control countries. RESULTS: The number of observed cases per 1 000 000 population on the last day of the Games was 109.2 (7-day average), which was 115.7% higher than the counterfactual trajectory comprising 51.0 confirmed cases per 1 000 000 population. During the Olympic period (since 23 July), the observed cumulative number of cases was 61.0% higher than the counterfactual trajectory, comprising 143 072 and 89 210 confirmed cases (p=0.023), respectively. The counterfactual trajectory lagged 10 days behind the observed trends. CONCLUSIONS: Given the increasing likelihood that new emerging infectious diseases will be reported in the future, we believe that the results of this study should serve as a sentinel warning for upcoming mega-events during COVID-19 and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sports , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Incidence , Japan/epidemiology , Tokyo/epidemiology
10.
SSM Popul Health ; 19: 101196, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031698

ABSTRACT

Excess deaths, including all-causes mortality, were confirmed for the first time in Japan in April 2021. However, little is known about the indirect effects of COVID-19 on the number of non-COVID-19-related deaths. We then estimated the excess deaths from non-COVID-19-related causes in Japan and its 47 prefectures from January 2020 through May 2021 by place of death. Vital statistical data on deaths were obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Using quasi-Poisson regression models, we estimated the expected weekly number of deaths due to all-causes excluding COVID-19 (non-COVID-19) and due to respiratory disease, circulatory disease, malignant neoplasms, and senility. Estimates were made separately for deaths in all locations, as well as for deaths in hospitals and clinics, in nursing homes and elderly care facilities, and at home. We defined a week with excess deaths as one in which the observed number of deaths exceeded the upper bound of the two-sided 95% prediction interval. Excess death was expressed as a range of differences between the observed and expected number of deaths and the 95% upper bound of the two-sided predictive interval. The excess percentage was calculated as the number of excess deaths divided by the expected number of deaths. At the national level, excess deaths from non-COVID-19-related all-causes were observed during April 19 to May 16, 2021. The largest excess percentage was 2.73-8.58% (excess deaths 689-2161) in the week of May 3-9. Similar trends were observed for all four cause categories. The cause-of-death categories which contributed to the excesses showed heterogeneity among prefectures. When stratified by place of death, excess mortality tended to be observed in nursing homes and elderly care facilities for all categories, in hospitals and clinics for circulatory disease, and at home for respiratory disease, malignant neoplasms, and senility. A caution is necessary that for the lastest three months (March-May 2021), adjusted data were used to account for possible reporting delays.

11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(14)2022 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2023508

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care access around the world, both for inpatients and outpatients. We applied a quasi-Poisson regression to national, monthly data on the number of outpatients, number of inpatients, length of average hospital stay, and the number of new hospitalizations from March 2015 to October 2021 to assess how these outcomes changed between June 2020 to October 2021. The number of outpatient visits were lower-than-predicted during the early phases of the pandemic but normalized by the fall of 2021. The number of inpatients and new hospitalizations were lower-than-predicted throughout the pandemic, and deficits in reporting continued to be observed in late 2021. The length of hospital stays was within the predicted range for all beds, but when stratified by bed type, was higher than predicted for psychiatric beds, lower-than-predicted for tuberculosis beds, and showed variable changes in long-term care insurance beds. Health care access in Japan was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Length of Stay
12.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(6): 1026-1032, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1961609

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Quantifying the impact on COVID-19 transmission from a single event has been difficult due to the virus transmission dynamics, such as lag from exposure to reported infection, non-linearity arising from the person-to-person transmission, and the modifying effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions over time. To address these issues, we aimed to estimate the COVID-19 transmission risk of social events focusing on the Japanese Coming-of-Age Day and Coming-of-Age ceremony in which "new adults" practice risky behavior on that particular day. METHODS: Using national surveillance data in Japan in 2021 and 2022, we conducted difference-in-differences regression against COVID-19 incidences by setting "new adults" cases as the treatment group and the cases 1 year younger or older than these "new adults" as the control group. In addition, we employed a triple differences approach to estimate the risk of holding the Coming-Age ceremony by using a binary variable regarding the presence or absence of the ceremony in each municipality. RESULTS: We estimated the relative risks (RRs) of the Coming-of-Age Day as 1.27 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.57) in 2021 and 3.22 (95% CI 2.68-3.86) in 2022. The RR of the Coming-of-Age ceremony was also large, estimated as 2.83 (1.81-4.43) in 2022. CONCLUSIONS: When planning large social events, it is important to be aware of the unique risks associated with these gatherings, along with effective public health messages to best communicate these risks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Japan/epidemiology , Public Health
13.
International journal of environmental research and public health ; 19(14), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1958440

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care access around the world, both for inpatients and outpatients. We applied a quasi-Poisson regression to national, monthly data on the number of outpatients, number of inpatients, length of average hospital stay, and the number of new hospitalizations from March 2015 to October 2021 to assess how these outcomes changed between June 2020 to October 2021. The number of outpatient visits were lower-than-predicted during the early phases of the pandemic but normalized by the fall of 2021. The number of inpatients and new hospitalizations were lower-than-predicted throughout the pandemic, and deficits in reporting continued to be observed in late 2021. The length of hospital stays was within the predicted range for all beds, but when stratified by bed type, was higher than predicted for psychiatric beds, lower-than-predicted for tuberculosis beds, and showed variable changes in long-term care insurance beds. Health care access in Japan was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

14.
BMC Med Res Methodol ; 22(1): 202, 2022 07 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957045

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Interrupted time series (ITS) analysis has become a popular design to evaluate the effects of health interventions. However, the most common formulation for ITS, the linear segmented regression, is not always adequate, especially when the timing of the intervention is unclear. In this study, we propose a new model to overcome this limitation. METHODS: We propose a new ITS model, ARIMAITS-DL, that combines (1) the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model and (2) distributed lag functional terms. The ARIMA technique allows us to model autocorrelation, which is frequently observed in time series data, and the decaying cumulative effect of the intervention. By contrast, the distributed lag functional terms represent the idea that the intervention effect does not start at a fixed time point but is distributed over a certain interval (thus, the intervention timing seems unclear). We discuss how to select the distribution of the effect, the model construction process, diagnosing the model fitting, and interpreting the results. Further, our model is implemented as an example of a statement of emergency (SoE) during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in Japan. RESULTS: We illustrate the ARIMAITS-DL model with some practical distributed lag terms to examine the effect of the SoE on human mobility in Japan. We confirm that the SoE was successful in reducing the movement of people (15.0-16.0% reduction in Tokyo), at least between February 20 and May 19, 2020. We also provide the R code for other researchers to easily replicate our method. CONCLUSIONS: Our model, ARIMAITS-DL, is a useful tool as it can account for the unclear intervention timing and distributed lag effect with autocorrelation and allows for flexible modeling of different types of impacts such as uniformly or normally distributed impact over time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Linear Models , Pandemics/prevention & control , Time Factors
15.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 27: 100541, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956256

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccine hesitancy is a global public health threat. We present unique data that characterises those who experienced reversals of COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy in Japan. Methods: We administered a questionnaire on vaccination intention among 30053 Japanese adults aged 20 years or older before the COVID-19 vaccination was available to the general population (first survey) and conducted a follow-up survey on vaccination status one year later in February 2022 (second survey). Those who responded in the first survey that they did not intend to be vaccinated or were unsure and then responded in the second survey that they were vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated were asked about the reasons for their change of heart. Based on previous literature and expert opinion, 31 reasons for changing vaccination intention were compiled and respondents were asked to choose which among them applied to themselves, with multiple responses possible. Based on the results of those responses, each individual was then clustered using the Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection (UMAP) dimensionality reduction technique and Ordering Points To Identify the Clustering Structure (OPTICS) algorithm. We then identified unique characteristics among each of the sub-populations (clusters). Findings: In the second survey we received 19195 responses (response rate 63.9%), of which 8077 responded 'no' or 'not sure' in the first survey regarding their intention to be vaccinated. Of these, 5861 responded having received or intending to receive the vaccine (72.6%). We detected six and five sub-populations (clusters) among the 'no' group and 'not sure' group, respectively. The clusters were characterized by perceived benefits of vaccination, including the COVID-19 vaccine, awareness of the COVID-19 vaccination status of those close to them, recognition of the social significance of COVID-19 vaccination for the spread of infection, and dispelled concerns about short-term adverse reactions and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. Work and personal relationship reasons were also found to be a unique overarching reason for vaccination changes of heart only among those who did not intend to vaccinate. Interpretation: Those who changed their intention to accept COVID-19 vaccination as well as their unique characteristics as detailed in this study will be important entry points when discussing how to promote vaccination to those who are hesitant to vaccinate in the future. Funding: The present work was supported in part by a grant from the Kanagawa Prefectural Government of Japan and by AIST government subsidies.

16.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 27: 100540, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956255

ABSTRACT

Background: Research characterizing changes of heart with respect to vaccine intention is scarce, and very little research considers those who were initially vaccine willing but became hesitant. Here, we sought to assess the factors related to reversals of vaccine willingness. Methods: We conducted a longitudinal, national survey on vaccination intention among Japanese adults aged 20 years or older, with the first questionnaire performed in February-March 2021 (N = 30,053) and the follow-up in February 2022 (N = 19,195, response rate 63.9%). The study population comprised those who reported vaccine willingness in the first survey, with the outcome variable being development of vaccine hesitancy at follow-up. We performed a regression analysis of vaccination status using sociodemographic, health-related, psychologic/attitudinal, and information-related variables as predictors. We used the sparse group minimax concave penalty (MCP) to select the optimum group of covariates for the logistic regression. Findings: Of 11,118 (57.9%) respondents who previously expressed interest in vaccination, 10,684 (96.1%) and 434 (3.9%) were in the vaccine willing and hesitant groups, respectively. Several covariates were found to significantly predict vaccine hesitancy, including marital status, influenza vaccine history, COVID-19 infection/testing history, engagement in COVID-19 preventive measures, perceived risks/benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, and attitudes regarding vaccination policies and norms. The use of certain information sources was also associated with vaccine hesitancy. Interpretation: Sociodemographic, health-related, psychologic/attitudinal, and information-related variables predicted the development of vaccine hesitancy among those with prior willingness. Most of these predictors were also associated with vaccination status. Funding: The present work was supported in part by a grant from the Kanagawa Prefectural Government of Japan and by AIST government subsidies.

17.
Circ Rep ; 4(8): 353-362, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1916998

ABSTRACT

Background: Although reductions in hospitalizations for myocardial infarction and heart failure have been reported during the period of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it is unclear how the overall number of hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) treatment changed in the early stages of the pandemic. Methods and Results: We analyzed the records of 574 certified hospitals affiliated with the Japanese Circulation Society and retrieved data from April 2015 to March 2020. Records were obtained from the nationwide Japanese Registry of All Cardiac and Vascular Diseases-Diagnosis Procedure Combination database. A quasi-Poisson regression model was used to estimate the number of hospitalizations for CVD treatment. Between January and March 2020, when the number of COVID-19 cases was relatively low in Japan, the actual/estimated number of hospitalizations for acute CVD was 18,233/21,634 (84.3%), whereas the actual/estimated number of scheduled hospitalizations was 16,921/19,066 (88.7%). The number of hospitalizations for acute heart failure and scheduled hospitalizations for valvular disease and aortic aneurysm were 81.1%, 84.6%, and 83.8% of the estimated values, respectively. A subanalysis that considered only facilities without hospitalization restrictions did not alter the results for these diseases. Conclusions: The spread of COVID-19 was associated with a decreased number of hospitalizations for CVD in Japan, even in the early stages of the pandemic.

19.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 87(2): e182-e187, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 outbreak, facility capacity for HIV testing has been limited. Furthermore, people may have opted against HIV testing during this period to avoid COVID-19 exposure. We investigated the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV testing and the number of reported HIV cases in Japan. METHODS: We analyzed quarterly HIV/AIDS-related data from 2015 to the second quarter of 2020 using an anomaly detection approach. The data included the number of consultations, the number of HIV tests performed by public health centers or municipalities, and the number of newly reported HIV cases with and without an AIDS diagnosis. We further performed the same analysis for 2 subgroups: men who have sex with men (MSM) and non-Japanese persons. RESULTS: The number of HIV tests (9,584 vs. 35,908 in the year-before period) and consultations (11,689 vs. 32,565) performed by public health centers significantly declined in the second quarter of 2020, whereas the proportion of new HIV cases with an AIDS diagnosis (36.2% vs. 26.4%) significantly increased after removing the trend and seasonality effects. HIV cases without an AIDS diagnosis decreased (166 vs. 217), but the reduction was not significant. We confirmed similar trends for the men who have sex with men and non-Japanese subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the current HIV testing system in Japan seems to have missed more cases of HIV before developing AIDS. Continuously monitoring the situation and securing sufficient test resources by use of self-testing is essential to understand the clear epidemiological picture of HIV incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Testing/statistics & numerical data , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Japan/epidemiology
20.
SSM Popul Health ; 18: 101114, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852100

ABSTRACT

Immigrants in Japan face multiple health care challenges. There is limited research addressing how all-cause mortality differs between foreign residents and Japanese citizens, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed whether all-cause mortality rates between Japanese citizens and foreign residents living in Japan differ, and whether these differentials changed after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using vital statistical data of all deaths among citizens and foreign residents that occurred within Japanese borders aggregated every 6 months between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2021. Data were used to calculate sex-, region-, and 20-year age group-specific standardized mortality rates using the direct method based on the population distribution of Japanese citizens in 2021 by sex, region, and 20-year age groups. Chi-squared tests and linear regression were used to assess whether the pandemic was associated with changes in mortality rates among groups and changes in the mortality differentials between citizens and non-citizens, respectively. All-cause mortality increased monotonically with age for men and women. Men had higher mortality than women, regardless of age or nationality. All-cause mortality is lower among immigrants than Japanese citizens between the ages of 20-59, but higher under the age of 20 and over the age of 59. The pandemic was associated with significant changes in mortality in most groups, but no statistically significant changes in the mortality differentials between immigrants and Japanese citizens were detected. Young immigrants are generally healthier than their Japanese counterparts, in line with the healthy migrant hypothesis. Younger migrants are at higher risk of mortality, possibly due to increased vulnerability to psychologic stress. Older migrant mortality converged with citizen mortality, consistent with acculturation that occurs with longer duration of residence. The pandemic did not exacerbate health inequities for foreign residents with respect to mortality.

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