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COVID-19 vaccine refusal is higher among health and social care workers who feel pressured by their employers – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Health and social care workers who felt under greater pressure from their employers to receive COVID-19 vaccination were more likely to decline it, according to preliminary new research highlighting factors influencing uptake.

https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2021/covid-19-vaccine-refusal-higher-among-health-and-social-care-workers-who-feel

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Social bonds in response to the Covid-19 crisis: when financial markets save lives

Social bonds are an attractive investment for worldwide institutional and individual investors looking for a socially responsible investment with a clear, unambiguous purpose and a portfolio diversification opportunity with attractive risk-adjusted returns. Although the social bond market has been growing fast, it has so far remained a niche sector.

…Over the last few weeks, several social Covid-19 bonds have already been issued by a number of multilateral institutions and public agencies and are already generating significant investor interest, paving the way for more issuances. The stage is now set for social bonds to move from a niche solution to a mainstream one.

http://archive.today/2021.09.06-173555/https://www.ecmi.eu/sites/default/files/when_financial_markets_save_lives_ecmi_commentary.pdf

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Coronavirus and depression in adults, Great Britain: January to March 2021 – ONS

1.Main points
Around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021 (27 January to 7 March); this is an increase since November 2020 (19%) and more than double that observed before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (10%).
Around 1 in 3 (35%) adults who reported being unable to afford an unexpected expense of £850 experienced depressive symptoms in early 2021, compared with 1 in 5 (21%) adults before the pandemic; for adults who were able to afford this expense, rates increased from 5% to 13%. Over the period 27 January to 7 March 2021:

Younger adults and women were more likely to experience some form of depression, with over 4 in 10 (43%) women aged 16 to 29 years experiencing depressive symptoms, compared with 26% of men of the same age.
Disabled (39%) and clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) adults (31%) were more likely to experience some form of depression than non-disabled (13%) and non-CEV adults (20%).
A higher proportion of adults renting their home experienced some form of depression (31%) when compared with adults who own their home outright (13%).
Almost 3 in 10 (28%) adults living in the most deprived areas of England experienced depressive symptoms; this compares with just under 2 in 10 (17%) adults in the least deprived areas of England.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/coronavirusanddepressioninadultsgreatbritain/januarytomarch2021

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Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – CDC

This guidance is intended for clinical laboratory and support staff who handle or process specimens associated with COVID-19. Guidance for Point-Of-Care Testing can be found here.

All laboratories should perform a site-specific and activity-specific risk assessment and follow Standard Precautions when handling clinical specimens. See Biological Risk Assessment: General Considerations for Laboratories

Refer to List Nexternal icon on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website for EPA-registered disinfectants that have qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogens program for use against SARS-CoV-2.

Cultures of SARS-CoV-2 should be handled in a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory using BSL-3 practices, and inoculation of animals with infectious wild-type SARS-CoV-2 should be conducted in an Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) facility using ABSL-3 practices and respiratory protection.

Suspected and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical specimens, cultures, or isolates should be packed and shipped as UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/lab-biosafety-guidelines.html

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COVID 19 – Media Buying Services – Contracts Finder

The UK Cabinet Office awarded £320,000,000 to OMD GROUP LIMITED for COVID 19 – Media Buying Services in advertising, radio and television. The contract runs between 1st April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Source: GOV.UK Contracts Finder

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/notice/6043d1fd-1f8c-4232-a32a-a658e19abcb1?origin=SearchResults&p=1

Mirror: http://archive.today/LNnYR

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Increased risk for COVID-19 in patients with vitamin D deficiency – Science Direct

Vitamin D deficiency is strongly associated with increased risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The odds ratio for COVID-19 increases with vitamin deficiency in black individuals.

Diabetes, obesity, and periodontal disease are associated with an increased risk for both COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency.

Patients with vitamin D deficiency were 4.6 times more likely to be positive for COVID-19 (indicated by the ICD-10 diagnostic code COVID19) than patients with no deficiency (P < 0.001). The association decreased slightly after adjusting for sex (odds ratio [OR] = 4.58; P < 0.001) and malabsorption (OR = 4.46; P < 0.001), respectively. The association decreased significantly but remained robust (P < 0.001) after adjusting for race (OR = 3.76; P < 0.001), periodontal disease status (OR = 3.64; P < 0.001), diabetes (OR = 3.28; P < 0.001), and obesity (OR = 2.27; P < 0.001), respectively. In addition, patients with vitamin D deficiency were 5 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than patients with no deficiency after adjusting for age groups (OR = 5.155; P < 0.001).

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900720303890

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Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards? – MPDI

Many countries introduced the requirement to wear masks in public spaces for containing SARS-CoV-2 making it commonplace in 2020. Up until now, there has been no comprehensive investigation as to the adverse health effects masks can cause. The aim was to find, test, evaluate and compile scientifically proven related side effects of wearing masks. For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines. In this paper, we refer to the psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described because of their consistent, recurrent and uniform presentation from different disciplines as a Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES). We objectified evaluation evidenced changes in respiratory physiology of mask wearers with significant correlation of O2 drop and fatigue (p < 0.05), a clustered co-occurrence of respiratory impairment and O2 drop (67%), N95 mask and CO2 rise (82%), N95 mask and O2 drop (72%), N95 mask and headache (60%), respiratory impairment and temperature rise (88%), but also temperature rise and moisture (100%) under the masks. Extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields.

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/8/4344/htm

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Vaccine Development, Testing, and Regulation – The History of Vaccines

Vaccine development is a long, complex process, often lasting 10-15 years and involving a combination of public and private involvement.

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-development-testing-and-regulation

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Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons – The New England Journal of Medicine

Among 827 participants who had a completed pregnancy, the pregnancy resulted in a live birth in 712 (86.1%), in a spontaneous abortion in 104 (12.6%), in stillbirth in 1 (0.1%), and in other outcomes (induced abortion and ectopic pregnancy) in 10 (1.2%). A total of 96 of 104 spontaneous abortions (92.3%) occurred before 13 weeks of gestation (Table 4), and 700 of 712 pregnancies that resulted in a live birth (98.3%) were among persons who received their first eligible vaccine dose in the third trimester. Adverse outcomes among 724 live-born infants — including 12 sets of multiple gestation — were preterm birth (60 of 636 among those vaccinated before 37 weeks [9.4%]), small size for gestational age (23 of 724 [3.2%]), and major congenital anomalies (16 of 724 [2.2%]); no neonatal deaths were reported at the time of interview. Among the participants with completed pregnancies who reported congenital anomalies, none had received Covid-19 vaccine in the first trimester or periconception period, and no specific pattern of congenital anomalies was observed. Calculated proportions of pregnancy and neonatal outcomes appeared similar to incidences published in the peer-reviewed literature 

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2104983

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Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards? – Europe PMC

On the one hand, the advocacy of an extended mask requirement remains predominantly theoretical and can only be sustained with individual case reports, plausibility arguments based on model calculations and promising in vitro laboratory tests. Moreover, recent studies on SARS-CoV-2 show both a significantly lower infectivity and a significantly lower case mortality than previously assumed, as it could be calculated that the median corrected infection fatality rate (IFR) was 0.10% in locations with a lower than average global COVID-19 population mortality rate. In early October 2020, the WHO also publicly announced that projections show COVID-19 to be fatal for approximately 0.14% of those who become ill—compared to 0.10% for endemic influenza—again a figure far lower than expected.

On the other hand, the side effects of masks are clinically relevant.

…We not only found evidence in the reviewed mask literature of potential long-term effects, but also evidence of an increase in direct short-term effects with increased mask-wearing time in terms of cumulative effects for: carbon dioxide retention, drowsiness, headache, feeling of exhaustion, skin irritation (redness, itching) and microbiological contamination (germ colonization).

https://europepmc.org/article/MED/33923935

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First case of postmortem study in a patient vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 – NCBI

A previously symptomless 86-year-old man received the first dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. He died 4 weeks later from acute renal and respiratory failure. Although he did not present with any COVID-19-specific symptoms, he tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 before he died. Spike protein (S1) antigen-binding showed significant levels for immunoglobulin (Ig) G, while nucleocapsid IgG/IgM was not elicited. Acute bronchopneumonia and tubular failure were assigned as the cause of death at autopsy; however, we did not observe any characteristic morphological features of COVID-19. Postmortem molecular mapping by real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed relevant SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold values in all organs examined (oropharynx, olfactory mucosa, trachea, lungs, heart, kidney and cerebrum) except for the liver and olfactory bulb. These results might suggest that the first vaccination induces immunogenicity but not sterile immunity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8051011/

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News Publications

Seven Peer-Reviewed Studies That Agree: Lockdowns Do Not Suppress the Coronavirus – Lockdown Sceptics

There have been at least seven peer-reviewed studies which look at the question of lockdowns from a data point of view, and all of them come to the same basic conclusion: lockdowns do not have a statistically significant relationship with Covid cases or deaths. Here is a list of them with a key quote for ease of reference.

https://lockdownsceptics.org/2021/04/15/seven-peer-reviewed-studies-that-agree-lockdowns-do-not-suppress-the-coronavirus/

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COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca analysis print – UK Government

All UK spontaneous reports received between 04/01/21 and 05/04/21 for COVID-19 vaccine Oxford University/AstraZeneca

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978315/050421_AZ_DAP.pdf

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COVID-19 mRNA Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine analysis print – UK Gov

All UK spontaneous reports received between 9/12/20 and 05/04/21 for COVID-19 vaccine mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine analysis print

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978316/050421_PF_DAP.pdf

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Justice Department Announces Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement in Its History – US Department of Justice

Published 9 September 2009

WASHINGTON – American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. (hereinafter together “Pfizer”) have agreed to pay $2.3 billion, the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice, to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products, the Justice Department announced today.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-largest-health-care-fraud-settlement-its-history

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Rapid Response: Do doctors have to have the covid-19 vaccine? – BMJ

Nevertheless, what I am currently struggling with is the failure to report the reality of the morbidity caused by our current vaccination program within the health service and staff population. The levels of sickness after vaccination is unprecedented and staff are getting very sick and some with neurological symptoms which is having a huge impact on the health service function. Even the young and healthy are off for days, some for weeks, and some requiring medical treatment. Whole teams are being taken out as they went to get vaccinated together.

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SARS-CoV-2 and the role of fomite transmission: a systematic review – F1000 Reasearch

Conclusions: The majority of studies report identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on inanimate surfaces; however, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating the recovery of viable virus. Lack of positive viral cultures suggests that the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through fomites is low. Heterogeneity in study designs and methodology prevents comparisons of findings across studies. Standardized guidelines for conducting and reporting research on fomite transmission is warranted.

https://f1000research.com/articles/10-233

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Rapid, point‐of‐care antigen and molecular‐based tests for diagnosis of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection – Chochrane Library

We identified virtually no evidence for mass screening of asymptomatic individuals using rapid antigen tests in people with no known exposure. A small study screening travellers returning from high‐risk countries (Cerutti 2020), identified only five SARS‐CoV‐2 infections (prevalence of 3%) with a reported sensitivity of antigen testing for detecting infection of 40%. However, important larger studies have been published since the end of our search, as mentioned above.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD013705.pub2/full

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NIAID Statement on AstraZeneca Vaccine

Late Monday, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) notified NIAID, BARDA, and AstraZeneca that it was concerned by information released by AstraZeneca on initial data from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data. We urge the company to work with the DSMB to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/niaid-statement-astrazeneca-vaccine

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The QCovid risk calculator – Oxford University

QCovid is an evidence-based model that uses a range of factors such as age, sex, ethnicity and existing medical conditions to predict risk of death or hospitalisation from COVID-19.

It provides nuanced information on people’s risk of serious illness due to COVID-19 and has the potential to help patients and doctors reach a shared understanding of risk.

It is a ‘living’ risk prediction model which will be updated regularly as our understanding of COVID-19 increases and more data become available.

The risk calculator can be found at the link below. You will be asked to accept the license terms but it does not ask for any personally identifiable information.

https://qcovid.org/Calculation