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J Glob Health ; 11: 03117, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603734

COVID-19 , Humans , Politics , SARS-CoV-2
Rev Med Virol ; 31(6): e2222, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574478


The emergence of a novel human coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has engaged considerable awareness and attention around the world. The associated disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), has now involved virtually all 200 countries. The total number of confirmed cases has been much more than in the two previous outbreaks of human coronaviruses, that is, SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. In line with the outbreak escalation, false information about SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease disseminated globally, particularly through online and social media. Believers in conspiracy theories promote misinformation that the virus is not contagious, is the result of laboratory manipulation or is created to gain profit by distributing new vaccines. The most dangerous effect of this widely disseminated misinformation is it will negatively influence the attitudes and behaviours for preventive measures to contain the outbreak. In this review, I discuss common conspiracy theories associated with SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19 and consider how we can address and counterbalance these issues based on scientific information and studies.

COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Vaccination/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccination Refusal/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Politics , Prejudice/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Scientific Misconduct/ethics , Social Media/ethics
Epidemiol Prev ; 45(5): 395-400, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1543061


Politics is facing the need to make important decisions about anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign in uncertain and changing contexts. With reference to the time frame between the administration of the first and second dose, the scientific evidence is still weak and comes from different contexts. New ways to collect and synthesize expert knowledge and opinions are needed with the direct involvement of the citizens in order to explain the uncertainties and maintain trust in institutions and their decisions.

COVID-19 , Politics , Humans , Immunization Programs , Italy , Trust
Soc Sci Med ; 292: 114619, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540972


In our article, we reconstruct how the patient-made term "long COVID" was able to become a widely accepted concept in public discourses. While the condition was initially invisible to the public eye, we show how the mobilization of subjective evidence online, i.e., the dissemination of reports on the different experiences of lasting symptoms, was able to transform the condition into a crucial feature of the coronavirus pandemic. We explore how stakeholders used the term "long COVID" in online media and in other channels to create their illness and group identity, but also to demarcate the personal experience and experiential knowledge of long COVID from that of other sources. Our exploratory study addresses two questions. Firstly, how the mobilization of subjective evidence leads to the recognition of long COVID and the development of treatment interventions in medicine; and secondly, what distinguishes these developments from other examples of subjective evidence mobilization. We argue that the long COVID movement was able to fill crucial knowledge gaps in the pandemic discourses, making long COVID a legitimate concern of official measures to counter the pandemic. By first showing how illness experiences were gathered that defied official classifications of COVID-19, we show how patients made the "long COVID" term. Then we compare the clinical and social identity of long COVID to that of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), before we examine the social and epistemic processes at work in the digital and medial discourses that have transformed how the pandemic is perceived through the lens of long COVID. Building on this, we finally demonstrate how the alignment of medical professionals as patients with the movement has challenged the normative role of clinical evidence, leading to new forms of medical action to tackle the pandemic.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Pandemics , Politics , SARS-CoV-2
J Natl Med Assoc ; 113(2): 218-219, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525857

Politics , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics
Public Health Res Pract ; 31(4)2021 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524687


Objectives and importance of study: The importance of health policy and systems research (HPSR) has been acknowledged since 2004 and was recognised by the United Nations World Health Assembly in 2005. However, many factors influence its development. This paper aims to analyse the impact of politics and political determinants on HPSR funding in selected countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. METHODS: Using a standardised protocol, we performed an analysis of available data and financing structures for health research and HPSR, based on research in eight countries, including interviews with key stakeholders (n = 42). RESULTS: Dollar depreciation and gross national product growth in the region may play a role in how governments fund research. There have been shifts in the political spectrum in governments, which have affected research coordination and funding in positive and negative ways. HPSR funding in some countries was dependent on budget decisions and although some have improved funding, others have regressed by decreasing funding or have completely cancelled financing mechanisms. Caribbean countries rely mainly on institutional funding. HPSR is recognised as important but remains underfunded; stakeholders believed it should be used more in decision making. CONCLUSION: Although HPSR is recognised as valuable for decision making and policy development, it does not have the financial support required to flourish in Latin America and the Carribean. Data on health research financing were not easy to access. There was little or no evidence of published reports or papers about research financing, health research funding, and HPSR funding in particular in the studied countries. Because of the fragility of health systems highlighted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, HPSR should be of great relevance and value to both policy makers and funders.

COVID-19 , Health Policy , Caribbean Region , Health Services Research , Humans , Latin America , Politics , SARS-CoV-2
Public Health Res Pract ; 31(4)2021 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506871


Are we repeating the mistakes of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic in our approach to combating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Is the world's emphasis on developing vaccines overshadowing investment in the health systems that can deliver them? We analyse a report on the politics of investing in health policy and systems research (HPSR) and conclude by outlining three critical actions, using the Stuckler-McKee model of social change in health. These are: exploiting a political window of opportunity; changing the conversation; and mobilising a campaign to drive the agenda. When implemented together, these actions could help accelerate investment in health systems to combat the immediate COVID-19 pandemic and prepare health systems for the next crisis.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Politics , SARS-CoV-2
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21751, 2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504251


Adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) remains critical to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Using self-reported adherence to NPIs in Canada, assessed through a national cross-sectional survey of 4498 respondents, we aimed to identify and characterize non-adopters of NPIs, evaluating their attitudes and behaviours to understand barriers and facilitators of adoption. A cluster analysis was used to group adopters separately from non-adopters of NPIs. Associations with sociodemographic factors, attitudes towards COVID-19 and the public health response were assessed using logistic regression models comparing non-adopters to adopters. Of the 4498 respondents, 994 (22%) were clustered as non-adopters. Sociodemographic factors significantly associated with the non-adoption cluster were: (1) being male, (2) age 18-34 years, (3) Albertans, (4) lower education level and (5) higher conservative political leaning. Participants who expressed low concern for COVID-19 and distrust towards several institutions had greater odds of being non-adopters. This information characterizes individuals at greatest odds for non-adoption of NPIs to inform targeted marketing interventions.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Alberta/epidemiology , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/psychology , Canada/epidemiology , Cluster Analysis , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Educational Status , Female , Health Literacy , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Politics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258871, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502069


COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to global public health. Multiple safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 are available with one-third of the global population now vaccinated. Achieving a sufficient level of vaccine coverage to suppress COVID-19 requires, in part, sufficient acceptance among the public. However, relatively high rates of hesitance and resistance to COVID-19 vaccination persists, threating public health efforts to achieve vaccine-induced population protection. In this study, we examined longitudinal changes in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, hesitance, and resistance in two nations (the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland) during the first nine months of the pandemic, and identified individual and psychological factors associated with consistent non-acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination. Using nationally representative, longitudinal data from the United Kingdom (UK; N = 2025) and Ireland (N = 1041), we found that (1) COVID-19 vaccine acceptance declined in the UK and remained unchanged in Ireland following the emergence of approved vaccines; (2) multiple subgroups existed reflecting people who were consistently willing to be vaccinated ('Accepters': 68% in the UK and 61% in Ireland), consistently unwilling to be vaccinated ('Deniers': 12% in the UK and 16% in Ireland), and who fluctuated over time ('Moveable Middle': 20% in the UK and 23% in Ireland); and (3) the 'deniers' and 'moveable middle' were distinguishable from the 'accepters' on a range of individual (e.g., younger, low income, living alone) and psychological (e.g., distrust of scientists and doctors, conspiracy mindedness) factors. The use of two high-income, Western European nations limits the generalizability of these findings. Nevertheless, understanding how receptibility to COVID-19 vaccination changes as the pandemic unfolds, and the factors that distinguish and characterise those that are hesitant and resistant to vaccination is helpful for public health efforts to achieve vaccine-induced population protection against COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Ireland , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Politics , Socioeconomic Factors , Time Factors , United Kingdom , Young Adult