212. Min Gao, Paul Aveyard, etc., Association between smoking, e-cigarette use and severe COVID-19: a cohort study, 2022.02.18, https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/51/4/1062/6531917 . Current smoking was associated with a reduced risk of severe COVID-19 but the association with e-cigarette use was unclear. All-cause mortality remained higher despite this possible reduction in death from COVID-19 during an epidemic of SARS-CoV-2. Findings support investigating possible protective mechanisms of smoking for SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the ongoing trials of nicotine to treat COVID-19.

211. Luke Bryant, Robert C Free, etc., Cohort Profile: The United Kingdom Research study into Ethnicity and COVID-19 outcomes in Healthcare workers (UK-REACH), 2022.08.27, https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyac171/6678066?searchresult=1 . The UK-REACH cohort was established to understand why ethnic minority healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of poorer outcomes from COVID-19 when compared with their White ethnic counterparts in the UK. Through study design, it contains a uniquely high percentage of participants from ethnic minority backgrounds about whom a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data have been collected.

210. Katrina Perehudoff, Carlos Durán, etc., Impact of the European Union on access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries: A scoping review, 2021.10.01 , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100219 . This article illustrates that EU policy makers adopt measures with the potential to influence medicines in LMICs despite limited evidence of their positive and/or negative impact(s). The EU's fragmented internal and external actions in fields related to pharmaceuticals reveal the need for principles for global equitable access to medicines to guide EU policy.

209. Inés Sananez, Silvina C. Raiden, etc., A poor and delayed anti-SARS-CoV2 IgG response is associated to severe COVID-19 in children, 2021.10.10, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103615 . This study finds out a weak and delayed kinetic of antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 together with a systemic pro-inflammatory profile characterize pediatric severe COVID-19. Because comorbidities are highly prevalent in children with severe COVID-19, further studies are needed to clarify their contribution in the weak antibody response observed in severe disease.

208. COVIDSurg Collaborative, Effect of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns on planned cancer surgery for 15 tumour types in 61 countries: an international, prospective, cohort study, 2021.10.05, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00493-9 . This study finds that cancer surgery systems worldwide were fragile to lockdowns, with one in seven patients who were in regions with full lockdowns not undergoing planned surgery and experiencing longer preoperative delays. Although short-term oncological outcomes were not compromised in those selected for surgery, delays and non-operations might lead to long-term reductions in survival. The resilience of elective surgery systems requires strengthening, which might include protected elective surgical pathways and long-term investment in surge capacity for acute care during public health emergencies to protect elective staff and services.

207. Sara Y Tartof, Jeff M Slezak, etc., Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine up to 6 months in a large integrated health system in the USA: a retrospective cohort study, 2021.10.04, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02183-8 . This study provides support for high effectiveness of BNT162b2 against hospital admissions up until around 6 months after being fully vaccinated, even in the face of widespread dissemination of the delta variant. Reduction in vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections over time is probably primarily due to waning immunity with time rather than the delta variant escaping vaccine protection.

206. Harry Ferguson, Sarah Pink, Laura Kelly, The Unheld Child: Social Work, Social Distancing and the Possibilities and Limits to Child Protection during the COVID-19 Pandemic, 2022.03.18, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcac055 . The COVID-19 pandemic changed dramatically the ways social workers engaged with children and families. This article presents findings from our research into the effects of COVID-19 on social work and child protection in England during the first nine months of the pandemic. The article provides new understandings of child protection as embodied, multi-sensorial practices and the ways anxiety and experiences of bodily self-alienation limit practitioners’ capacities to think about and get close to children. Whilst social workers creatively improvised to achieve their goals, coronavirus and social distancing imposed limits to child protection that no amount of innovative practice could overcome in all cases.

205. Rosina K Foli, Frank L K Ohemeng, Provide our basic needs or we go out: the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, inequality, and social policy in Ghana, 2022.03.19, https://doi.org/10.1093/polsoc/puac008 . The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cuts across every facet of a nation’s life. Consequently, many of these countries have had to craft emergency social policies to help their citizens. Ghana is no exception. This paper, based on desk research, explores the limitations of the existing social policy framework, which became manifest during the implementation of Ghana’s pandemic policies. Policy layering by government continues to weaken Ghana’s social welfare system, and this affected the official response with respect to the social issues that have emerged due to the pandemic.

204. Lili Yu, Xiaoying Zhang, etc., Obesity & COVID-19: mechanistic insights from adipose tissue, 2022.03.09, https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgac137 . Obesity is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. The risk is related to the cytokine storm, a major contributor to multiorgan failure and a pathological character of COVID-19 patients with obesity. While the exact cause of the cytokine storm remains elusive, disorders in energy metabolism has provided insights into the mechanism. Emerging data suggest that adipose tissue in obesity contributes to the disorders in several ways. Mitochondrial dysfunction in adipocytes, immune cells and other cell types (endothelial cells and platelets, etc.) is a common cellular mechanism for the development of cytokine storm, which leads to the progression of mild COVID-19 to severe cases with multiorgan failure and high mortality. Correction of energy surplus through various approaches is recommended in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in the obese patients.

203. Jasmine R Marcelin, Audrey Pettifor, etc., COVID-19 Vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in the Era of New Variants: A Review and Perspective, 2022.03.10,, https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofac124 . COVID-19 vaccines have yielded definitive prevention and major reductions in morbidity and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection, even in the context of emerging and persistent variants-of-concern. Newer variants have revealed less vaccine protection against infection and attenuation of vaccine effects on transmission. COVID-19 vaccines still likely reduce transmission compared to not being vaccinated at all, even with variants of concern, however determining the magnitude of transmission reduction is constrained by challenges of performing these studies, requiring accurate linkage of infections to vaccine status and timing thereof, particularly within households. In this review we synthesize the currently available data on the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on infection, serious illness, and transmission; we also identify the challenges and opportunities associated with policy development based on this data.

Beijing Interest Group on Global Health and Global Governance
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