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CMAJ Open ; 9(3): E848-E854, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399642


BACKGROUND: When vaccine supplies are anticipated to be limited, necessitating the vaccination of certain groups earlier than others, the assessment of values and preferences of stakeholders is an important component of an ethically sound vaccine prioritization framework. The objective of this study was to conduct a priority-setting exercise to establish an expert stakeholder perspective on the relative importance of COVID-19 vaccination strategies in Canada. METHODS: The priority-setting exercise included a survey of stakeholders that was conducted from July 22 to Aug. 14, 2020. Stakeholders included clinical and public health expert groups, provincial and territorial committees and national Indigenous groups, patient and community advocacy representatives and experts, health professional associations and federal government departments. Survey results were analyzed to identify trends. RESULTS: Of 155 stakeholders contacted, 76 surveys were received for a participation rate of 49%. During a period of anticipated initial vaccine scarcity for all pandemic scenarios, stakeholders generally considered the most important vaccination strategy to be protecting those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19. This was followed in importance by strategies to protect health care capacity, minimize transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and protect critical infrastructure. INTERPRETATION: This priority-setting exercise established that there is general alignment in the values and preferences across stakeholder groups: the most important vaccination strategy at the time of limited initial vaccine availability is to protect those who are most vulnerable. The findings of this priority-setting exercise provided a timely expert perspective to guide early public health planning for COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Priorities/ethics , Vaccination/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Canada/epidemiology , Capacity Building/organization & administration , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Health Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Health Occupations/trends , Health Priorities/organization & administration , Humans , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Stakeholder Participation , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Vulnerable Populations
Occup Environ Med ; 79(3): 176-183, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379626


OBJECTIVE: To quantify occupational risks of COVID-19 among healthcare staff during the first wave (9 March 2020-31 July 2020) of the pandemic in England. METHODS: We used pseudonymised data on 902 813 individuals employed by 191 National Health Service trusts to explore demographic and occupational risk factors for sickness absence ascribed to COVID-19 (n=92 880). We estimated ORs by multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: With adjustment for employing trust, demographic characteristics and previous frequency of sickness absence, risk relative to administrative/clerical occupations was highest in 'additional clinical services' (care assistants and other occupations directly supporting those in clinical roles) (OR 2.31 (2.25 to 2.37)), registered nursing and midwifery professionals (OR 2.28 (2.23 to 2.34)) and allied health professionals (OR 1.94 (1.88 to 2.01)) and intermediate in doctors and dentists (OR 1.55 (1.50 to 1.61)). Differences in risk were higher after the employing trust had started to care for documented patients with COVID-19, and were reduced, but not eliminated, following additional adjustment for exposure to infected patients or materials, assessed by a job-exposure matrix. For prolonged COVID-19 sickness absence (episodes lasting >14 days), the variation in risk by staff group was somewhat greater. CONCLUSIONS: After allowance for possible bias and confounding by non-occupational exposures, we estimated that relative risks for COVID-19 among most patient-facing occupations were between 1.5 and 2.5. The highest risks were in those working in additional clinical services, nursing and midwifery and in allied health professions. Better protective measures for these staff groups should be a priority. COVID-19 may meet criteria for compensation as an occupational disease in some healthcare occupations. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN36352994.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Sick Leave/statistics & numerical data , Adult , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine