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1.
N Z Med J ; 136(1576): 84-86, 2023 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241321
2.
Aust Health Rev ; 47(3): 362-368, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237810

ABSTRACT

Objectives To project the prevalence of people receiving dialysis in Australia for 2021-30 to inform service planning and health policy. Methods Estimates were based on data from 2011 to 2020 from the Australia & New Zealand Dialysis & Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. We projected dialysis and functioning kidney transplant recipient populations for the years 2021-30. Discrete-time, non-homogenous Markov models were built on probabilities for transition between three mutually exclusive states (Dialysis, Functioning Transplant, Death), for five age groups. Two scenarios were employed - stable transplant rate vs a continued increase - to assess the impact of these scenarios on the projected prevalences. Results Models projected a 22.5-30.4% growth in the dialysis population from 14 554 in 2020 to 17 829 ('transplant growth') - 18 973 ('transplant stable') by 2030. An additional 4983-6484 kidney transplant recipients were also projected by 2030. Dialysis incidence per population increased and dialysis prevalence growth exceeded population ageing in 40-59 and 60-69 year age groups. The greatest dialysis prevalence growth was seen among those aged ≥70 years. Conclusion Modelling of the future prevalence of dialysis use highlights the increasing demand on services expected overall and especially by people aged ≥70 years. Appropriate funding and healthcare planning must meet this demand.


Subject(s)
Kidney Failure, Chronic , Kidney Transplantation , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , New Zealand/epidemiology , Prevalence , Registries , Renal Dialysis
3.
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 42(5): 1041-1053, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243332

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Initial COVID-19 restrictions forced changes in the contexts (e.g., with who and where) within which individuals consumed alcohol. We aimed to explore different profiles of drinking contexts during initial COVID-19 restrictions and their association with alcohol consumption. METHOD: We used latent class analysis (LCA) to explore subgroups of drinking contexts among 4891 respondents of the Global Drug Survey from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia who reported drinking alcohol in the month prior to data collection (3 May-21 June 2020). Ten binary LCA indicator variables were generated from a survey question about last month alcohol settings. Negative binomial regression was used to explore the association between the latent classes and respondents' total number of drinks consumed in the last 30 days (i.e., alcohol consumption). RESULTS: The LCA found six distinct classes of individuals who reported drinking in the following contexts: household (36.0%); alone (32.3%); alone and household (17.9%); gatherings and household (9.5%); party (3.2%); and everywhere (1.1%), with the last group associated with the highest probability of increased alcohol consumption during this time. Male respondents and those aged 35 or older were most likely to report increased alcohol consumption. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that drinking contexts, sex and age influenced alcohol consumption during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight a need for improved policy targeting risky drinking in home settings. Further research should explore whether COVID-19-induced shifts in alcohol use persist as restrictions are lifted.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , COVID-19 , Humans , Male , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Latent Class Analysis , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Australia/epidemiology , Ethanol
4.
N Z Med J ; 136(1576): 49-66, 2023 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242526

ABSTRACT

AIMS: New Zealand's public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic has largely been considered successful, although there have been concerns surrounding the potential harms of the lockdown restrictions enforced, including alteration of alcohol consumption. New Zealand utilised a four-tiered alert level system of lockdowns and restrictions, with Level 4 denoting strict lockdown. This study aimed to compare alcohol-related hospital presentations during these periods with corresponding calendar-matched dates from the preceding year. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective case-controlled analysis of all alcohol-related hospital presentations between 1 January 2019 to 2 December 2021 and compared COVID-19 restriction periods to corresponding calendar-matched pre-pandemic periods. RESULTS: A total of 3,722 and 3,479 alcohol-related acute hospital presentations occurred during the four COVID-19 restriction levels and corresponding control periods respectively. Alcohol-related presentations accounted for a greater proportion of all admissions during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 1 than the respective control periods (both p⁢0.05), but not during Levels 4 and 2 (both p>0.30). Acute mental and behavioural disorders accounted for a greater proportion of alcohol-related presentations during Alert Levels 4 and 3 (both p≤0.02), although alcohol dependence was present in a lower proportion of presentations during Alert Levels 4, 3, and 2 (all p⁢0.01). There was no difference in acute medical conditions including hepatitis and pancreatitis during all alert levels (all p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Alcohol-related presentations were unchanged compared to matched control periods during the strictest level of lockdown, although acute mental and behavioural disorders accounted for a greater proportion of alcohol-related admissions during this period. New Zealand appears to have avoided the general trend of increased alcohol-related harms seen internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic and its lockdown restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Ethanol , Hospitals
5.
6.
Thromb Res ; 222: 102-108, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326956

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An association between thrombotic events and SARS-CoV-2 infection and the adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines has been established, leading to concern over the risk of thrombosis after BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccination. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the risk of arterial thrombosis, cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), splanchnic thrombosis, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) following BNT162b2 vaccination in New Zealand. METHODS: This was a self-controlled case series using national hospitalisation and immunisation records to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRR). The study population included individuals aged ≥12 years, unvaccinated, or vaccinated with BNT162b2, who were hospitalised with one of the thrombotic events of interest from 19 February 2021 through 19 February 2022. The risk period was 0-21 days after receiving a primary or booster dose of BNT162b2. RESULTS: 6039 individuals were hospitalised with one of the thrombotic events examined, including 5127 with VTE, 605 with arterial thrombosis, 272 with splanchnic thrombosis, and 35 with CVT. The proportion of individuals vaccinated with at least one dose of BNT162b2 ranged from 82.7 % to 91.4 %. Compared with the control unexposed period, the IRR (95 % CI) of VTE, arterial thrombosis, splanchnic thrombosis, and CVT were 0.87 (0.76-1.00), 0.73 (0.56-0.95), 0.71 (0.43-1.16), and 0.87 (0.31-2.50) in the 21 days after BNT162b2 vaccination, respectively. There was no statistically significant increased risk of thrombosis following BNT162b2 in different ethnic groups in New Zealand. CONCLUSION: The BNT162b2 vaccine was not found to be associated with thrombosis in the general population or different ethnic groups in New Zealand, providing reassurance for the safety of the BNT162b2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Intracranial Thrombosis , Thrombosis , Venous Thromboembolism , Humans , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , New Zealand/epidemiology , Research Design , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/etiology , Venous Thromboembolism/epidemiology , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology
7.
Inj Prev ; 29(3): 213-218, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325662

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the temporal trends and ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in cruciate ligament (CL) injury incidence and associated costs in New Zealand over a 14-year period. METHODS: All CL injury claims lodged between 2007 and 2020 were extracted from the Accident Compensation Corporation (a nationwide no-fault injury compensation scheme) claims dataset. Age-adjusted and sex-adjusted incidence rates, total injury costs and costs per claim were calculated for each year for total population and subgroups. RESULTS: The total number of CL injury claims increased from 6972 in 2007 to 8304 in 2019, then decreased to 7068 in 2020 (likely due to widespread COVID-19 restrictions; analysis is therefore restricted to 2007-2019 hereafter). The (age-adjusted and sex-adjusted) incidence rate remained largely unchanged and was 173 cases per 100 000 people in 2019. There was a 127% increase in total injury claims costs and a 90% increase in costs per claim. Pacific people had the highest incidence rate and costs per 100 000 people, while Asians had the lowest; European, Maori and 'other' ethnicities had similar incidence rates and total costs. Incidence rates and total costs increased with income and decreased with neighbourhood deprivation. Costs per claim differed little by ethnicity, but increased with income level. CONCLUSION: The number and costs of CL injury claims in New Zealand are increasing. There are ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in CL incidence rates and costs, which are important to address when designing CL injury prevention programmes and programmes aimed at improving equity of access to medical care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Ethnicity , Incidence , Ligaments/injuries , Maori People , New Zealand/epidemiology , Social Class , European People , Asian People
8.
Epidemiol Infect ; 151: e74, 2023 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305657

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 impacts population health equity. While mRNA vaccines protect against serious illness and death, little New Zealand (NZ) data exist about the impact of Omicron - and the effectiveness of vaccination - on different population groups. We aim to examine the impact of Omicron on Maori, Pacific, and Other ethnicities and how this interacts with age and vaccination status in the Te Manawa Taki Midland region of NZ. Daily COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation rates (1 February 2022 to 29 June 2022) were calculated for Maori, Pacific, and Other ethnicities for six age bands. A multivariate logistic regression model quantified the effects of ethnicity, age, and vaccination on hospitalisation rates. Per-capita Omicron cases were highest and occurred earliest among Pacific (9 per 1,000) and Maori (5 per 1,000) people and were highest among 12-24-year-olds (7 per 1,000). Hospitalisation was significantly more likely for Maori people (odds ratio (OR) = 2.03), Pacific people (OR = 1.75), over 75-year-olds (OR = 39.22), and unvaccinated people (OR = 4.64). Length of hospitalisation is strongly related to age. COVID-19 vaccination reduces hospitalisations for older individuals and Maori and Pacific populations. Omicron inequitably impacted Maori and Pacific people through higher per-capita infection and hospitalisation rates. Older people are more likely to be hospitalised and for longer.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Status Disparities , Maori People , Aged , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hospitalization , New Zealand/epidemiology , White People
9.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 42(7): e232-e234, 2023 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304649

ABSTRACT

New Zealand (NZ) initially adopted an elimination approach to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Pre-Omicron variant, the NZ pediatric population was immunologically naïve to SARS-CoV-2. This study, utilizing national data sources, describes the NZ incidence of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) following infection with the Omicron variant. MIS-C incidence was 1.03 of 100,000 age-specific population and 0.04 of 1000 recorded SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , New Zealand/epidemiology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/epidemiology
10.
Med J Aust ; 218(10): 467-473, 2023 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304557

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate in-hospital mortality among people admitted to Australian intensive care units (ICUs) with conditions other than coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: National, multicentre, retrospective cohort study; analysis of data in the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Centre for Outcome and Resource Evaluation (ANZICS CORE) Adult Patient Database. SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: Adults (16 years or older) without COVID-19 admitted to Australian ICUs, 1 January 2016 - 30 June 2022. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All-cause in-hospital mortality, unadjusted and relative to the January 2016 value, adjusted for illness severity (Australian and New Zealand Risk of Death [ANZROD] and hospital type), with ICU as a random effect. Points of change in mortality trends (breakpoints) were identified by segmental regression analysis. RESULTS: Data for 950 489 eligible admissions to 186 ICUs were available. In-hospital mortality declined steadily from January 2016 to March 2021 by 0.3% per month (P < 0.001; March 2021 v January 2016: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-0.80), but rose by 1.4% per month during March 2021 - June 2022 (P < 0.001; June 2022 v January 2016: aOR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.90-1.17). The rise in mortality continued after the number of COVID-19-related ICU admissions had declined; mortality increased in jurisdictions with lower as well as in those with higher numbers of COVID-19-related ICU admissions. CONCLUSION: The rise in in-hospital mortality among people admitted to Australian ICUs with conditions other than COVID-19 from March 2021 reversed the improvement of the preceding five years. Changes to health service delivery during the pandemic and their consequences should be investigated further.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospital Mortality , Adult , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(8)2023 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302835

ABSTRACT

Maori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand), were at the centre of their country's internationally praised COVID-19 response. This paper, which presents the results of qualitative research conducted with 27 Maori health leaders exploring issues impacting the effective delivery of primary health care services to Maori, reports this response. Against a backdrop of dominant system services closing their doors or reducing capacity, iwi, hapu and ropu Maori ('tribal' collectives and Maori groups) immediately collectivised, to deliver culturally embedded, comprehensive COVID-19 responses that served the entire community. The results show how the exceptional and unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19 provided a unique opportunity for iwi, hapu and ropu Maori to authentically activate mana motuhake; self-determination and control over one's destiny. Underpinned by foundational principles of transformative Kaupapa Maori theory, Maori-led COVID-19 responses tangibly demonstrated the outcomes able to be achieved for everyone in Aotearoa when the wider, dominant system was forced to step aside, to be replaced instead with self-determining, collective, Indigenous leadership.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maori People , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services , New Zealand/epidemiology
12.
N Z Med J ; 136(1571): 73-82, 2023 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2277722

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, studies emerged reporting the occurrence of cardiovascular complications in patients affected by SARS-CoV-2. Initial data were likely skewed by higher risk populations and those with severe disease. Recent, larger studies have corroborated this association and provide estimates for risk of cardiovascular complications. Patients affected by COVID-19 are at increased risk of myocardial infarction, myocarditis, venous thromboembolism, arrhythmias, and exacerbation of heart failure. Furthermore, a subset of patients who recover from the acute illness have persistent symptoms, a condition termed "long COVID", and management of these symptoms is challenging. Clinicians treating patients affected by COVID-19 should remain vigilant for cardiac complications during the acute illness, particularly in high-risk populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Diseases , Humans , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Acute Disease , New Zealand/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/etiology
13.
N Z Med J ; 136(1570): 20-29, 2023 Feb 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2274164

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Te Toka Tumai Auckland Hospital enacted a multi-faceted plan in response to widespread community transmission of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in 2022.1 This included redeploying a number of resident medical officers (RMOs) from other specialties to assist emergency medicine and general medicine services within the adult emergency department (AED). The purpose of this report is to evaluate the experience of the redeployed RMOs and identify ways to improve the redeployment process in the future. METHODS: An anonymous survey was sent out to the nineteen RMOs who were redeployed. Nine of 18 eligible RMOs responded (50%), with both quantitative and qualitative feedback collated. The quantitative data were descriptively compared, and a thematic analysis was performed. RESULTS: RMOs provided a range of responses about the redeployment experience, with 56% willing to be redeployed to the AED in a future crisis. Impact on training was the most commonly reported negative experience. Positive redeployment experiences related to feeling welcomed and appreciated, and to having the opportunity to enhance acute clinical skills. Areas for improvement included structured orientation, RMO input and consent in the redeployment planning process, and having a single point of communication between the RMOs being redeployed and the administration. CONCLUSION: The report identified areas of strength and areas for improvement in the redeployment process. Despite a small sample size, useful insights into the RMOs' experiences of being redeployed to acute medical services in the AED were gained.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Adult , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , New Zealand/epidemiology , Hospitals , Emergency Service, Hospital
14.
N Z Med J ; 136(1572): 46-60, 2023 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254796

ABSTRACT

AIM: To determine whether self-reported mood or self-rated health were affected in community-dwelling adults with chronic illness following COVID-19 lockdown. METHODS: This was a repeated cross-sectional study using secondary data. We included New Zealanders aged 40+ who underwent International Residential Instrument (interRAI) assessments in the year prior to COVID-19 lockdown (25 March 2019-24 March 2020) or in the year following COVID-19 lockdown (25 March 2020-24 March 2021). Pairwise comparisons were made between each pre-lockdown quarter and its respective post-lockdown quarter to account for seasonality patterns. Data from 45,553 (pre-lockdown) and 45,349 (post-lockdown) assessments were analysed. Outcomes (self-reported mood, self-rated health) were stratified by socio-demographic variables. RESULTS: Self-reported mood improved in the first quarter post-lockdown among those aged 80+, as well as among women, people of European ethnicity, those living alone and those living in more deprived areas. Self-rated health improved in these same groups, as well as among those aged 65-79, and among men. No differences in self-reported mood or self-rated health were found in the second, third, or fourth quarters post-lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported mood and self-rated health of community-dwelling adults with chronic illness were not negatively affected following COVID-19 lockdown, and temporarily improved among some sub-groups. However, the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic need to be closely monitored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Adult , Female , Self Report , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Independent Living , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Chronic Disease
15.
PLoS One ; 18(3): e0280643, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260603

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is caused by high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Testing for high-risk HPV is a more sensitive screening method than cervical cytology for detecting cervical changes that may lead to cancer. Consistent with recent evidence of efficacy and acceptability, Aotearoa New Zealand plans to introduce HPV testing as the primary approach to screening, replacing cervical cytology, from mid-2023. Any equitable cervical screening programme must be effective across a diverse population, including women that the current programme fails to reach, particularly Maori and those in rural areas. Currently, we do not know the best model for implementing an equitable HPV self-testing screening programme. METHODS: This implementation trial aims to assess whether a universal offer of HPV self-testing (offered to all people eligible for cervical screening) achieves non-inferior screening coverage (equal) to a universal offer of cervical cytology alone (the present programme). The study population is all people aged from 24.5 to 70 years due for cervical screening in a 12-month period (including those whose screening is overdue or who have never had screening). A range of quantitative and qualitative secondary outcomes will be explored, including barriers and facilitators across screening and diagnostic pathways. This study takes place in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland which covers a diverse range of urban and rural areas and has a large Indigenous Maori population. A total of fourteen practices will be involved. Seven practices will offer HPV self-testing universally to approximately 2800 women and will be compared to seven practices providing routine clinical care (offer of cervical cytology) to an approximately equal number of women. DISCUSSION: This trial will answer important questions about how to implement an equitable, high-quality, effective national programme offering HPV self-testing as the primary screening method for cervical cancer prevention. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry 07/12/2021: ACTRN12621001675819.


Subject(s)
Papillomavirus Infections , Uterine Cervical Dysplasia , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Young Adult , Australia , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Human Papillomavirus Viruses , Mass Screening/methods , New Zealand/epidemiology , Papillomaviridae , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Infections/complications , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Vaginal Smears
16.
J Sci Med Sport ; 26(4-5): 241-246, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270042

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To quantify changes in sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury claims in New Zealand during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., 2020 and 2021). DESIGN: Population-based cohort study. METHODS: This study included all new sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury claims that were registered with the Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand during 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2021. Annual sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury claim rates per 100,000 population from 2010 to 2019 were used to fit autoregressive integrated moving average models, from which forecast estimates with 95 % prediction intervals for 2020 and 2021 were derived and compared against corresponding observed values to obtain estimates of absolute and relative forecast errors. RESULTS: Sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury claim rates were 30 % and 10 % lower than forecasted in 2020 and 2021, respectively, equating to an estimated total of 2410 fewer sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury claims during the two-year period. CONCLUSIONS: There was a large reduction in sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury claims in New Zealand during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight the need for future epidemiological studies examining temporal trends of sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Athletic Injuries , Brain Concussion , Brain Injuries, Traumatic , COVID-19 , Football , Humans , Athletic Injuries/epidemiology , New Zealand/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Brain Concussion/epidemiology , Brain Injuries, Traumatic/epidemiology , Football/injuries
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(6)2023 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286570

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly changed health service delivery and daily life. There is limited research exploring health professional experiences with these changes. This research explores mental health clinicians' experiences over the first COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand to inform future pandemic responses and improve usual business practices. METHOD: Thirty-three outpatient mental health clinicians in three Aotearoa New Zealand regions took part in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analysed thematically applying an interpretive description methodology. RESULTS: Three key themes emerged: (1) life in lockdown, (2) collegial support, and (3) maintaining well-being. Clinicians, fearful of contracting COVID-19, struggled to adapt to working from home while maintaining their well-being, due to a lack of resources, inadequate pandemic planning, and poor communication between management and clinicians. They were uncomfortable bringing clients notionally into their own homes, and found it difficult to separate home and work spheres. Maori clinicians reported feeling displaced from their clients and community. CONCLUSION: Rapid changes in service delivery negatively impacted clinician well-being. This impact is not lessened by a return to normal work conditions. Additional support is required to improve clinician work conditions and ensure adequate resourcing and supervision to enable clinicians to work effectively within a pandemic context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Mental Health , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics
19.
J R Soc Interface ; 20(199): 20220698, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232781

ABSTRACT

New Zealand experienced a wave of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in early 2022, which occurred against a backdrop of high two-dose vaccination rates, ongoing roll-out of boosters and paediatric doses, and negligible levels of prior infection. New Omicron subvariants have subsequently emerged with a significant growth advantage over the previously dominant BA.2. We investigated a mathematical model that included waning of vaccine-derived and infection-derived immunity, as well as the impact of the BA.5 subvariant which began spreading in New Zealand in May 2022. The model was used to provide scenarios to the New Zealand Government with differing levels of BA.5 growth advantage, helping to inform policy response and healthcare system preparedness during the winter period. In all scenarios investigated, the projected peak in new infections during the BA.5 wave was smaller than in the first Omicron wave in March 2022. However, results indicated that the peak hospital occupancy was likely to be higher than in March 2022, primarily due to a shift in the age distribution of infections to older groups. We compare model results with subsequent epidemiological data and show that the model provided a good projection of cases, hospitalizations and deaths during the BA.5 wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Child , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , New Zealand/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitalization
20.
Scand J Public Health ; 51(5): 797-813, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224065

ABSTRACT

AIMS: We aimed to compare COVID-19 control measures, epidemiological characteristics and economic performance measures in two high-income island nations with small populations, favorable border control options, and relatively good outcomes: Iceland and New Zealand (NZ). METHODS: We examined peer-reviewed journal articles, official websites, reports, media releases and press articles for data on pandemic preparedness and COVID-19 public health responses from 1 January 2020 to 1 June 2022 in Iceland and NZ. We calculated epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as measures of economic performance. RESULTS: Both nations had the lowest excess mortality in the OECD from the start of the pandemic up to June 2022. Iceland pursued a mitigation strategy, never used lockdowns or officially closed its border to foreign nationals, and instead relied on extensive testing and contact tracing early in the pandemic. Meanwhile, NZ pursued an elimination strategy, used a strict national lockdown to stop transmission, and closed its international border to everyone except citizens and permanent residents going through quarantine and testing. Iceland experienced a larger decrease in gross domestic product in 2020 (relative to 2019) than NZ (-8·27% vs. -1·22%, respectively). In late 2021, NZ announced a shift to a suppression strategy and in 2022 began to reopen its border in stages, while Iceland ended all public restrictions on 25 February 2022. CONCLUSIONS: Many of Iceland's and NZ's pandemic control measures appeared successful and features of the responses in both countries could potentially be adopted by other jurisdictions to address future disease outbreaks and pandemic threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Iceland/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , New Zealand/epidemiology
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