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COVID-19
video reports

COVID-19 updates

22 October 2021

European Commission
European Health Union: Commission establishes portfolio of 10 most promising treatments for COVID-19

Delivering on a key action from the EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics, the Commissionhas established a portfolio of 10 potential COVID-19 therapeutics. The list established is based on independent scientific advice, and focuses on COVID-19 treatment candidates that are likely to be authorised and therefore available on the European market soon. 

21 October 2021

WHO/Europe
One billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the WHO European Region – but risks for the unvaccinated leave no room for complacency

'COVID-19 vaccines have been developed to save lives, not to eliminate the virus and halt its transmission. Yet, the more people who get vaccinated the easier it is to bring transmission under control. Reaching 70% coverage everywhere is still our goal if we wish to stabilize the crisis.'

18 October 2021

ECDC
COVID-19 surveillance guidance - Transition from COVID-19 emergency surveillance to routine surveillance of respiratory pathogens

This publication offers practical guidance to EU/EEA countries, encouraging them to transition from emergency surveillance for COVID-19 to more sustainable, objective-driven, surveillance systems. 

15 October 2021

ECDC
Facilitating COVID-19 vaccination acceptance and uptake in the EU/EEA

This technical report presents considerations for European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries when diagnosing barriers to acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, and designing and implementing interventions to increase uptake.

8 October 2021

ECDC
ECDC builds study infrastructure to monitor COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness

ECDC is creating new infrastructure to allow for regular monitoring and analysis of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) over time, using a multi-country approach, through the implementation of studies in different settings. One of these settings is hospitals, where the primary aim is to assess vaccine effectiveness against severe disease. 

7 October 2021

The Lancet Regional Health Europe
Multi-country collaboration in responding to global infectious disease threats: lessons for Europe from the COVID-19 pandemic

In this Health Policy article, authors examine the case for multilateral collaboration on threats from infectious disease. While recognising that there are many perspectives we could adopt, including those from the international relations literature, they begin with the economic case for collaboration, looking at two types of goods with substantial inter-country effects: shared knowledge and population immunity.

Euractiv / Reuteurs
New EU travel map to be based on vaccination rates

The ECDC is proposing a revision of COVID-19 rules which could ease travel for vaccinated people and drop a colour-coded system that limits trips to and from areas with high levels of infections.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Job loss and lower healthcare utilisation due to COVID-19 among older adults across 27 European countries

The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and predictors of COVID-19-related unemployment and healthcare utilisation in a sample of older adults across 27 European countries. In conclusion, job loss and lower healthcare utilisation for non-COVID-19-related reasons were common among older adults and were associated with several sociodemographic characteristics. Job loss appeared to disproportionally affect already economically vulnerable individuals, raising concerns about the exacerbation of social inequalities.

5 October 2021

The BMJ Opinion
Unpacking vaccine “hesitancy:” the spectrum of vaccine acceptance

'Not everyone who is not ready to have a vaccine is an “anti-vaxxer” and only by acknowledging this, working with diverse communities and understanding the range of people’s concerns are we likely to win them over to the side of public health interventions.'

30 September 2021

ECDC
Rapid Risk Assessment: Assessing SARS-CoV-2 circulation, variants of concern, non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccine rollout in the EU/EEA, 16th update

The risk assessed in this update is as follows: based on current levels of vaccination coverage and the dominance of the Delta variant in the EU/EEA, what risk does SARS-CoV-2 pose to the general population and the vulnerable population in the coming months?

27 September 2021

The BMJ Global Health
Characterising long COVID: a living systematic review

This study aims to regularly synthesise evidence on long COVID characteristics, to help inform clinical management, rehabilitation strategies and interventional studies to improve long-term outcomes.

 
This study explores the views and experiences of scientists working on government advisory boards during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim to learn lessons for future pandemic management and preparedness.

23 September 2021

ECDC
Overview of the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination strategies and deployment plans in the EU/EEA

This report provides an updated overview of the progress of national COVID-19 vaccination strategies in EU/EEA countries, including updates on: vaccine uptake overall and by target group; current vaccination phases and priority groups, as well as any adjustments made to priority groups during the rollout; vaccination strategies and policies in place; and the use of vaccination certificates and challenges countries face with the rollout and good practices to mitigate these challenges.

The BMJ
Covid-19 vaccination: evidence of waning immunity is overstated

In conclusion, the risks of remaining unvaccinated are clear and far outweigh the unknown benefits of re-vaccinating the general population. Rapid scale-up of vaccination coverage globally remains the most urgent public health priority.

15 September 2021

Nature
The fight to manufacture COVID vaccines in lower-income countries

Drug companies and wealthy countries are facing increased pressure to partner with firms in the global south but are reluctant to relinquish control. 

11 September 2021

European Journal of Public Health
Social distancing measures: barriers to their implementation and how they can be overcome – a systematic review

This review identifies the need for good communication as well as the need for authorities to provide comprehensive support as two key opportunities to increase acceptability and adherence. 

3 September 2021

ECDC
ECDC awards 77 M€ to strengthen EU/EEA Member States’ capacities to detect and identify SARS-CoV-2 variants

ECDC has awarded more than 77 M€ to 24 EU/EEA countries to strengthen whole genome sequencing and RT-PCR infrastructures within the countries’ national public health programmes. 

2 September 2021

European Journal of Public Health
COVID-19 vaccines a global public good? Moving past the rhetoric and making work of sharing intellectual property rights, know-how and technology

'In spite of the fact that vaccines were soon crowned ‘global public goods’, little came of it in reality, and low-income countries are dependent on inadequate donation-based systems. Key in changing the tide is to ensure better global access, for which more vaccines must become available. To this end, Intellectual property (IP) rights, know-how and technology must be shared to maximize vaccine production.'

1 September 2021

ECDC
Interim public health considerations for the provision of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses

This document aims to provide the target audience with interim public health considerations for the provision of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

31 August 2021

European Commission
Coronavirus: 70% of the EU adult population fully vaccinated

On August 31st, the EU has reached a crucial milestone with 70% of the adult population now fully vaccinated. In total, over 256 million adults in the EU have now received a full vaccine course. Seven weeks ago already, the Commission's delivery target was met, ahead of time: to provide Member States, by the end of July, with enough vaccine doses to fully vaccinate 70% of the adult EU population.

24 August 2021

Nature
Monitoring non-pharmaceutical public health interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Measuring and monitoring non-pharmaceutical interventions is important yet challenging due to the need to clearly define and encode non-pharmaceutical interventions, to collect geographically and socially representative data, and to accurately document the timing at which interventions are initiated and changed. These challenges highlight the importance of integrating and triangulating across multiple databases and the need to expand and fund the mandate for public health organizations to track interventions systematically.

17 August 2021

Nature
The WHO is right to call a temporary halt to COVID vaccine boosters

'If vaccines were not scarce, boosters would be less controversial. But to focus on boosters when more than half the world lacks vaccine doses is short-sighted and will only keep the pandemic burning longer. For wealthy countries, this strategy means they will be indefinitely chasing their tails in terms of new variants. And for the rest of the world, it means prolonging unnecessary suffering.'

12 August 2021

WHO
WHO Statement on advancing the next series of studies to find the origins of SARS-CoV-2

The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO, is a new advisory group for WHO, which will be responsible for advising WHO on the development of a global framework to systematically study the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential. For SARS-CoV-2, it will support the rapid undertaking of recommended studies outlined in the March 2021 report. 

10 August 2021

The Lancet Public Health
Effects of adjusting public health, travel, and social measures during the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination: a modelling study

In this paper, authors aimed to evaluate to what extent travel restrictions and other PHSMs can be relaxed without exacerbating the local and global spread of COVID-19.

9 August 2021

The BMJ
Covid-19: How effective are vaccines against the delta variant?

'While it’s sobering to see cases occurring in fully vaccinated people, their protection is holding up well, as judged by numbers of hospital admissions and fatalities relative to what might have been. As Iwasaki puts it: the message should still be to get vaccinated as soon as possible.'

The Lancet
Towards a European strategy to address the COVID-19 pandemic

'The pandemic is yet to be overcome, but an end is conceivable. Restrictions can be lifted when high vaccination coverage is reached, and if vaccines remain highly effective against VOCs. However, until then, the goal should be to minimise economic and societal costs for Europe and for the world. Maintaining and communicating a clear strategy is key, and pan-European coordination and common goals across countries are more important than ever.'

The Lancet Digital Health
Predicted COVID-19 positive cases, hospitalisations, and deaths associated with the Delta variant of concern, June–July, 2021

Building on methods previously described in the context of the first and second waves in largely unvaccinated individuals, authors developed a prediction model that estimates the likelihood of hospitalisation and deaths of people currently positive, and people predicted to be positive, with COVID-19 over a 4-week time horizon.

4 August 2021

ECDC
ECDC and EMA update on COVID-19

This update stresses that full vaccination is key to protecting against serious COVID-19, including disease caused by the Delta variant.

Reuters
WHO calls for halting COVID-19 vaccine boosters in favor of unvaccinated

The World Health Organization is calling for a halt on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday, as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries widens.

27 July 2021

Science Daily
How relaxing COVID-19 restrictions could pave the way for vaccine resistance

This article describes how we are in an 'arms race' with the virus and how rising cases could provide opportunities for it to evolve into even more transmissible variants.

26 July 2021

ECDC
Rapid Risk Assessment: COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities in the EU/EEA in the context of current vaccination coverage

The BMJ
Long covid—mechanisms, risk factors, and management

This review summarizes studies of the long term effects of covid-19 in hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients and describes the persistent symptoms they endure. Risk factors for acute covid-19 and long covid and possible therapeutic options are also discussed.

23 July 2021

WHO Europe
SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant now dominant in much of European region; efforts must be reinforced to prevent transmission, warns WHO Regional Office for Europe and ECDC

Dr Kluge has a clear message for those countries in the Europe region easing public health and social measures. “WHO recommends that countries increase access to free of charge testing, expand sequencing, incentivize quarantine for contacts and isolation for confirmed cases, strengthen contact tracing to break chains of transmission and ensure those most at risk among our populations are vaccinated.”

22 July 2021

ECDC
Partial COVID-19 vaccination, vaccination following SARS-CoV-2 infection and heterologous vaccination schedule: summary of evidence

This document provides a review of evidence on three topics of interest (effectiveness of partial vaccination, immunogenicity and effectiveness of vaccination for previously infected individuals and safety and immunogenicity of heterologous schedules) to inform ongoing decision-making in relation to national vaccination policies and strategies in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries.

European Commission
Coronavirus: Commission steps up research funding with €120 million for 11 new projects to tackle the virus and its variants

The Commission has short-listed 11 new projects worth €120 million from Horizon Europe, the biggest European research and innovation programme (2021-2027), for supporting and enabling urgent research into the coronavirus and its variants. The 11 short-listed projects involve 312 research teams from 40 countries, including 38 participants from 23 countries outside of the EU.
Read more about the projects here.

16 July 2021

ECDC
SARS-CoV-2 resurgence in EU and EEA related to relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions and increasing spread of Delta variant

There has been a 64.3% increase of weekly COVID-19 cases compared to last week, according to ECDC’s epidemic intelligence and TESSy data reported by EU and EEA countries, as of 15 July 2021. 

EUPHA
COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Seminar Series Webinar 1: TRIPS - recording available

The European Public Health Association (EUPHA) in collaboration with the French Public Health Association (Société Française de Santé Publique) (SFSP), and with the support of the EUPHA Health technology assessment section (EUPHA-HTA), are organising a series of events to raise awareness and to share the knowledge of experts on key aspects regarding: COVID-19 Preparedness and Response.

The first webinar of this series took place on July 6.
 The speakers presented and discussed the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (#TRIPS) Agreement, the relevance of a temporary waiver and of voluntary licensing, as well as knowledge transfer and vaccine distribution mechanisms. This first seminar also focused on the role of the European Union and of its Member States regarding these issues.

14 July 2021

EMA
EMA and ECDC update on COVID-19

10 July 2021

European Commission
Statement by President von der Leyen on the EU reaching the milestone of vaccine deliveries to vaccinate 70% of EU adults

8 July 2021

ECDC
COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission - second update

The aim of this document is to provide an update on the knowledge surrounding the role of children in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the role of schools in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing in particular on the experience in EU/EEA countries since the beginning of the pandemic. This document also addresses transmission to and from staff in school settings, school-related mitigation measures including risk communication, testing, contact tracing, and the effectiveness and impacts of school closures. 

1 July 2021

European Commission
EU Digital COVID Certificate enters into application in the EU

As of July 1st, the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation enters into application. This means that EU citizens and residents will now be able to have their Digital COVID Certificates issued and verified across the EU. 21 Member States as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein had already started to issue certificates ahead of today's deadline, and five EU countries are starting today.

EUPHA, EUPHA-HTA, French Piblic Health Association
COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Seminar Series: TRIPS Waiver, Knowledge Transfer and Vaccine Distribution - 6 July

The European Public Health Association (EUPHA) in collaboration with the French Public Health Association (Société Française de Santé Publique) (SFSP), and with the support of EUPHA’s Health Technology Assessment Section (EUPHA-HTA), are organising a series of events to raise awareness and to share the knowledge of experts on key aspects regarding:
COVID-19 Preparedness and Response.
We are delighted to announce the first webinar of this series will take place on:
July 6, at 3:30 – 5 pm CEST (Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam) / 9:30 – 11 am EDT (New York)

Register now:  https://bit.ly/3wYgUTP

23 June 2021

ECDC
Threat Assessment Brief: Implications for the EU/EEA on the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of concern

The aim of this threat assessment brief is to assess potential public health implications of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of concern (VOC) for the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA). 

17 June 2021

Resolve to Save Lives, Surgo Ventures
Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake - A Four-Step Framework to Promote Access, Acceptance and Equity

This guide provides a framework for identifying and mapping the most useful data sources onto learnings from community engagement to continuously build context-specific interventions and evaluate your success.

14 June 2021

ECDC
Overview of the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination strategies and deployment plans in the EU/EEA

This report provides an updated overview of the progress of national COVID-19 vaccination strategies in EU/EEA countries, including updates on: vaccine uptake overall and by target group; current vaccination phases and priority groups, as well as any adjustments made to priority groups during the rollout; vaccination strategies and policies in place; and the use of vaccination certificates and challenges countries face with the rollout and good practices to mitigate these challenges.

European Commission
EU clears way for the EU Digital COVID Certificate


Today, the Presidents of the three EU institutions, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission attended the official signing ceremony for the Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, marking the end of the legislative process. 

10 June 2021

European Parliament
Parliament calls for COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver

To accelerate global vaccine rollout, MEPs demand the temporary lifting of intellectual property rights protection for COVID-19 vaccines.

ECDC
Rapid risk assessment: Assessing SARS-CoV-2 circulation, variants of concern, non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccine rollout in the EU/EEA, 15th update

The Lancet Infectious Diseases
Should we vaccinate children against SARS-CoV-2?

"There might be a case for vaccinating children in the not-too-distant future. However, whether at present the children of high-income countries should be prioritised for vaccination over vulnerable adults in LMICs is a matter for serious ethical and practical debate."

9 June 2021

European Parliament
Parliament gives its final green light to the EU Digital COVID Certificate

MEPs completed today the legislative work on the EU digital COVID Certificate package to facilitate travel within the EU and contribute to the economic recovery. What you need to know:

  • The certificate will be issued free of charge by national authorities and be available in either digital or paper format containing a QR code.
  • The document will certify that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has a recent negative test result or has recovered from the infection. In practice, these will be three distinct certificates.
  • A common EU framework will make certificates interoperable and verifiable across the European Union, as well as prevent fraud and forgery.
  • The system will apply from 1 July 2021 and be in place for 12 months. The certificate will not be a precondition for free movement and will not be considered a travel document.

8 June 2021

WHO
Virtual press briefing on COVID-19: situation in the WHO European Region

When: Thursday 10 June 2021, 11:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST)
WHO/Europe will hold its regular virtual press briefing with Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and technical experts. The briefing will present a situation update on COVID-19 in the WHO European Region and answer media questions.
The virtual press briefing will be broadcast live on WHO/Europe’s Facebook account  and on its Twitter profile

4 June 2021

The BMJ Opinion
Coordination was the right path for the EU’s vaccine strategy, but lessons need to be learned

'It seems clear that future pandemics and other cross-border health threats will require increased cooperation on a European level—not just in the context of vaccines, but also in other areas of health policy. The European Commission has started to promote the idea of a European Health Union and individual member states are beginning to acknowledge that the bloc should be granted more power when it comes to health matters.'

Revolve to Save Lives by Vital Strategies
COVID-19: In-Depth Science Review

This science review is a snapshot of the new and emerging scientific evidence related to COVID-19 during the period specified. It is a review of important topics and articles.

3 June 2021

ECDC
Reducing COVID 19 transmission and strengthening vaccine uptake among migrant populations in the EU/EEA

This report presents evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on migrant populations in EU/EEA countries; risk factors for increased COVID-19 exposure in migrant populations; and considerations for ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine for migrant populations.

1 June 2021

ECDC
Interim public health considerations for COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents in the EU/EEA

This technical report provides a set of interim public health considerations to support EU/EEA public health authorities taking decisions on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to adolescents (12- to 18-year-olds).
The focus of this document is on the overall potential public health impact, rather than on the individual benefits and risks, of COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents.

31 May 2021

European Commission
Coronavirus: Commission proposes update to coordinated travel measures ahead of the summer

The European Commission has proposed an update to the Council Recommendation on the coordination of free movement restrictions in the EU, which were put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joint Research Centre
COVID-19: How a better understanding of airborne transmission is the key to break the chain of infection

In a new study published in May, JRC scientists propose to merge the two non-contact transmission modes, large-droplet and aerosol, into a unique non-contact airborne transmission mode. It is, according to them, essential to break the chain of infection, 

28 May 2021

The BMJ
Suspend intellectual property rights for covid-19 vaccines

'As we enter into a new era of global pandemics, we must fundamentally rethink the global intellectual property system. The ability to respond swiftly to global crises cannot be left to a handful of private companies in a few wealthy countries. We need a more cooperative global response to this and future public health emergencies.'

27 May 2021

ECDC
COVID-19 situation update for the EU/EEA, as of 27 May 2021

26 May 2021

The BMJ
What does it mean to engage the public in the response to covid-19?

In this paper, the authors explain how governments and other authorities should respond to calls for public engagement in covid-19 response and recovery.

24 May 2021

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Importance of population-based longitudinal studies to understanding the impact of COVID-19

The author discusses some of the important dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic that population-based longitudinal studies are well placed to study.

20 May 2021

European Parliament
Getting a patent waiver is not enough, says WTO chief to Trade Committee

WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “Getting the Intellectual Property rights waiver for vaccines will not be enough”. She listed three other routes: reducing export restrictions and reinforcing supply chains for vaccines, working with manufacturers to expand production, including in emerging countries with idle capacity such as Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand or Bangladesh, and transferring the necessary technology and expertise to produce the complicated vaccines.

WHO/Europe
Statement – COVID-19: A fragile progress

Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, highlights the progresses made in the fight again COVID-19, but also stresses the fragility of the whole process.

ECDC
The use of antibody tests for SARS-COV-2 in the context of Digital Green Certificates

This brief technical note was developed at the request of the European Commission to inform the discussion on Digital Green Certificates to facilitate the safe and free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

19 May 2021

European Parliament
EU Covid-19 Certificate: a European solution for free testing is needed

EP negotiators want to use the Emergency Support Instrument in order to provide citizens with accessible and free of charge testing for the purpose of the new EU Covid-19 certificate. 

ECDC
ECDC releases new dashboard on SARS-CoV-2 variants

A new dashboard released by ECDC now provides an overview of the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants of interest among sequenced samples in European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, as well as sequencing volumes. It complements the data published in ECDC’s weekly country overview report. 

13 May 2021

The BMJ
Effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on covid-19 related symptoms, hospital admissions, and mortality in older adults in England: test negative case-control study

In conclusion, vaccination with either one dose of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1-S was associated with a significant reduction in symptomatic covid-19 in older adults, and with further protection against severe disease. Both vaccines showed similar effects. 

11 May 2021

International Health
Institutional and behaviour-change interventions to support COVID-19 public health measures: a review by the Lancet Commission Task Force on public health measures to suppress the pandemic

'To mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 restrictions and build preparedness for future pandemics, political leaders at local, regional and global levels must weigh up the benefits and harms of restrictions on individual freedoms, tackle existing and emerging inequities, provide clear, consistent guidance to the public and strengthen capacity in research and the application of the analytical and behavioural sciences.'

10 May 2021

Nature
A global database of COVID-19 vaccinations

The authors present the Our World in Data COVID-19 vaccination dataset, a global public dataset that tracks the scale and rate of the vaccine rollout across the world. This resource aids policymakers and researchers in understanding the rate of current and potential vaccine rollout; the interactions with non-vaccination policy responses; the potential impact of vaccinations on pandemic outcomes such as transmission, morbidity and mortality; and global inequalities in vaccine access.

6 May 2021

ECDC
Overview of the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination strategies and vaccine deployment plans in the EU/EEA

This report provides an updated overview of the progress of national COVID-19 vaccination strategies in EU/EEA countries, including updates on: vaccine uptake overall and by target group; current vaccination phases and priority groups, as well as any adjustments made to priority groups during the rollout; vaccination strategies and policies in place; and the use of vaccination certificates and challenges countries face with the rollout and good practices to mitigate these challenges.

4 May 2021

COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor
Cross-Country Analysis: What strategies are countries using to get COVID-19 vaccines to people in hard-to-reach groups?

Hard-to-reach populations have disproportionately experienced the negative impacts of COVID-19; therefore, they are not only a crucial demographic for governments to vaccinate, but also require coordinated strategies to ensure they have equitable vaccine access. This analysis outlines the most commonly adopted strategies across the European Region.

29 April 2021

Joint Research Centre
From science to action: finding a common European approach for tracking SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in wastewater

It is seven in the evening and JRC scientist Bernd Gawlik is multitasking: he is preparing a dinner with a recipe originating from the German part of Silesia – the region his family is originally from – while drafting replies to a journalist on tracking COVID-19 with wastewater.

Global health and health workforce development: what to learn from COVID-19 on health workforce preparedness and resilience? 
Ellen Kuhlmann, Gilles Dussault, Tiago Correia

Public health competences through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic: what matters for health workforce preparedness for global health emergencies?
Katarzyna Czabanowska, Ellen Kuhlmann

28 April 2021

ECDC
New COVID-19 collection

To celebrate the European Immunization Week, the ECDC has created a new COVID-19 collection that will be updated weekly, as they publish new articles on the topic.

ECDC
SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern pose a higher risk for hospitalisation and intensive care admission

A study coordinated by ECDC together with seven EU countries – Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Portugal – analysed data on the three VOC reported by the collaborating countries, and the research shows a higher risk for hospitalisation and intensive care admission.

The Lancet
SARS-CoV-2 elimination, not mitigation, creates best outcomes for health, the economy, and civil liberties

'Countries that consistently aim for elimination—ie, maximum action to control SARS-CoV-2 and stop community transmission as quickly as possible—have generally fared better than countries that opt for mitigation—ie, action increased in a stepwise, targeted way to reduce cases so as not to overwhelm health-care systems.'

26 April 2021

International Journal of Health Policy and Management
Equitable and Effective Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccines – A Scientific and Moral Obligation

As we continue to search for solutions to this pandemic, maintaining prior commitments to global solidarity and access through initiatives such as COVAX is clearly a prerequisite to stop this pandemic. National governments should be accountable for preparing the needed logistical measures to ensure an equitable, ethical and effective distribution, with priority given to the most at risk

22 April 2021

The Lancet Psychiatry
COVID-19 and suicide

'A professional consensus, in other words, is emerging concerning suicide and the pandemic. It refutes the use of suicide statistics to score political points (for example, about the wisdom of lockdowns), but it recognises the role that those in power can play in mitigating the economic and social factors that might increase the risk of suicide. It resists oversimplified narratives that reduce the complexities of mental distress to a simple count of deaths, but it asserts the importance of individual experience. The consensus insists on facts over sensationalist hearsay, but it is not complacent. And it emphasises that we are at a historic moment in which much is still uncertain, yet with effective monitoring systems a great deal can be known and acted on.'

The BMJ
Covid-19: What do we know about airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2?

How COVID-19 spreads is one of the most debated questions of the pandemic. Chris Baraniuk explains what the evidence tells us about airborne transmission of the virus.

Journal of Migration and Health
Clinical outcomes and risk factors for COVID-19 among migrant populations in high-income countries: A systematic review

The authors conclude that 'migrants in high-income countries are at high risk of exposure to, and infection with, COVID-19. These data are of immediate relevance to national public health and policy responses to the pandemic. Robust data on testing uptake and clinical outcomes in migrants, and barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination, are urgently needed, alongside strengthening engagement with diverse migrant groups.'

21 April 2021

Coronavirus Politics: The Comparative Politics and Policy of COVID-19

This book identifies key threads in the global comparative discussion that continue to shed light on COVID-19 and shape debates about what it means for scholarship in health and comparative politics. It is available open access in pdf and in epub.

The Lancet
Prisons need to be included in global and national vaccinations effort against COVID-19

'On a global scale, effective management of COVID-19 in custodial settings is key to stopping the spread of the virus. People in detention are more vulnerable to severe forms of COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions and more likely to contract the virus due to limited access to water and soap, hand sanitizer and face masks, the inability to physically distance and suboptimal access to healthcare.'

The Lancet Regional Health Europe
Maximising public adherence to COVID-19 self-isolation in Europe

In conclusion, 'COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities and there are individuals and whole communities that cannot isolate without adequate financial and practical support that is easily accessible. We must accept this reality and unequivocally push for measures that support this critical behaviour.'

19 April 2021

European Journal of Public Health
COVID-SCORE Spain: Public perceptions of key government COVID-19 control measures

This article concludes that fostering public trust during health threats may improve perception of response efforts. Future efforts should tailor interventions that consider gender, education level, and whether people have been affected by COVID-19.

Nature
Leave no one behind: ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines for refugee and displaced populations

'As the world confronts one of the most formidable public-health challenges in recent history, how we respond today will determine not only the course of this pandemic but also who benefits from public-health advances for years to come. We may further entrench the inequities and distrust experienced by refugees and displaced populations around the world, or, by recognizing and confronting these inequities, we can build stronger, fairer health systems that are better prepared to respond to COVID-19 and future health emergencies.'

15 April 2021

The BMJ
COVID-19 response: mitigating negative impacts on other areas of health

This analysis concludes that the lack of attention to the broader health system and health impacts of vertical response measures, particularly under lockdowns—but also other elements of public health responses which, while less directly disruptive than lockdowns, may still have blind spots—has resulted in and will continue to cause significant harm to health and well-being.

14 April 2021

International Journal of Public Health
Toward ‘Vaccine Internationalism’: The Need for an Equitable and Coordinated Global Vaccination Approach to Effectively Combat COVID-19

'ASPHER calls upon civil society organisations (CSOs) and schools of public health to support the WHO and national governments in catalyzing efforts to combat the spread of disinformation and misinformation. CSOs and schools of public health must not only continue to convey factual, evidence-based information, but also identify and share best practices and expertise with policymakers.'

EMA
COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen: assessment of very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low platelets continues

As announced last week, EMA’s safety committee (PRAC) is reviewing very rare cases of unusual blood clots that occurred in the United States following the use of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine: EMA to provide further context on risk of very rare blood clots with low blood platelets

EMA continues to monitor very rare blood clots with low blood platelets that occurred after vaccination with Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca).

13 April 2021

The Lancet Infectious Diseases
SARS-CoV-2 incidence and vaccine escape

This paper aims to answer the following question: how can COVID-19 exit strategies be planned while limiting the vaccine escape risk?

8 April 2021

ECDC
Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2: implementation of a surveillance case definition within the EU/EEA

This document presents the findings of a survey of EU/EEA countries carried out to ascertain surveillance practices implemented to document and report suspected reinfection cases. It summarises the available evidence on the duration of protective immunity following infection with SARS-CoV-2, addressing concerns related to reinfection, such as disease severity during a reinfection episode. The survey responses and available evidence are used to underline the rationale for the surveillance case definition proposed for suspected reinfection cases, to be reported via The European Surveillance System (TESSy).

7 April 2021

EMA
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine: EMA finds possible link to very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets

EMA’s safety committee (PRAC) has concluded today that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of Vaxzevria (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca). However, EMA confirms overall benefit-risk remains positive.

1 April 2021

European Journal of Public Health
Area-level indicators of income and total mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic

The authors conducted an ecological study based on the number of deaths registered in the municipalities of the Lombardy region (Italy) between January 2019 and June 2020. In conclusion, the socioeconomic inequalities in mortality widened in Lombardy, the Italian region most severely hit during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BMJ
Covid-19 vaccine passports: access, equity, and ethics

'While the merits of vaccine passports may be undeniable, implementation will require ethical justifications and practical solutions that do not discriminate against the poor, the less technically literate, and people from low- and middle-income countries. Without mitigation strategies and alternative solutions, the hardships experienced by marginalised and vulnerable groups will be intensified through the perpetuation of discrimination.'

31 March 2021

WHO
Vaccines explained series

WHO's 'Vaccine Explained' series features illustrated articles on vaccine development and distribution. Learn more about vaccines from the earliest of research stages to their rollout in countries.

30 March 2021

WHO
WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part

26 March 2021

The BMJ
Covid-19: Vaccine hesitancy fell after vaccination programme started

'More than eight out of 10 UK adults who were initially reluctant to have a covid vaccine now plan to do so, survey data suggest.
Preliminary findings from University College London’s Virus Watch study suggest that 86% of those who were unsure about having the vaccine or planned to refuse it in December 2020 have now changed their minds.'

ECDC