240. Christopher Robertson, What the harm principle says about vaccination and healthcare rationing, 2022.06.25, https://doi.org/10.1093/jlb/lsac017 . Clinical ethicists hold near consensus on the view that healthcare should be provided regardless of patients’ past behaviors. In contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic suggests the possible recurrence of a very different situation, where a foreseeable acute shortage of healthcare resources means that some cannot be helped. And that shortage is exacerbated by the discrete decision of some to decline a free, safe, and highly effective vaccine, where the facts are clear. In such a future case, if healthcare must be denied to some patients, rationers who ignore vaccination status will become complicit in externalizing the consequences of refusing vaccination onto those who did not refuse.

240. Christopher Robertson, What the harm principle says about vaccination and healthcare rationing, 2022.06.25, https://doi.org/10.1093/jlb/lsac017 . Clinical ethicists hold near consensus on the view that healthcare should be provided regardless of patients’ past behaviors. In contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic suggests the possible recurrence of a very different situation, where a foreseeable acute shortage of healthcare resources means that some cannot be helped. And that shortage is exacerbated by the discrete decision of some to decline a free, safe, and highly effective vaccine, where the facts are clear. In such a future case, if healthcare must be denied to some patients, rationers who ignore vaccination status will become complicit in externalizing the consequences of refusing vaccination onto those who did not refuse.

239. Clayton Ó Néill, ‘This is no country for old (wo)men’? An examination of the approach taken to care home residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022.07.21, https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwac023 . This article discusses the human rights of residents in care homes in England who were affected by restrictions that were imposed during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to safeguard health and life at a time of public health emergency. The article questions whether the restrictions that were applied were justified, given the limitations that exist within some ECHR Articles. It deliberates upon what can be done to ensure that relevant bodies and care homes are better enabled to respond to a public health emergency in an individualistic, rights-based manner.

238. Caroline A B Redhead, Sara Fovargue, etc., Relationships, Rights, and Responsibilities: (Re)viewing the NHS Constitution for the post-pandemic ‘new normal’, 2022.08.25, https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwac028 . The article reviews the NHS Constitution from a relational perspective and suggesting that it offers a useful starting point for such a project, but that new ways of thinking are required to accommodate the significant changes the pandemic has made to the fabric of the NHS. These new ways of thinking should encompass concepts of solidarity, care, and (reciprocal) responsibility. The article argues that the NHS Constitution can be used as a tool to engage people, and to catalyse conversation about how their responsibilities as NHS stakeholders should change in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’.

237. Daniel Béland, Alex Jingwei He, M Ramesh, COVID-19, crisis responses, and public policies: from the persistence of inequalities to the importance of policy design, 2022.05.18, https://doi.org/10.1093/polsoc/puac021 . The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has once again highlighted the importance of social inequalities during major crises, a reality that has clear implications for public policy. This introductory article on COVID-19, inequalities, and public policies provides an overview of the nexus between crisis and inequality before exploring its importance for the study of policy stability and change, with a particular focus on policy design. It stresses the persistence of inequalities during major crises before exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to focus on these inequalities when the time comes to design policies in response to such crises.

236. Cong Wang, Jimin Wang, Ethnolinguistic diversity and the spread of communicable diseases: a cross-country study on the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022.08.24, https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daac082 . Motivated by the varying effectiveness of government intervention policies to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential positive relationship between ethnolinguistic diversity and social distance, this paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the relationship between ethnolinguistic diversity and the spread of COVID-19. The thesis has found a significant negative effect of ethnolinguistic diversity on the spread of the virus. The result is robust to alternative measures of ethnolinguistic diversity and estimator that addresses endogeneity. Moreover, the thesis also shows that the impact of ethnolinguistic diversity on the spread of COVID-19 differs in economies characterized by different levels of democracy, policy stringency on addressing COVID-19 and health expenditure.

235. Alessia VerduriMD, Roxanna Short, etc., Comparison between first and second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in older people. The COPE multicentre European observational cohort study, 2022.08.23, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckac108 . Effective shielding measures and virus mutations have progressively modified the disease between the waves, likewise health care systems have adapted to the outbreak. The thesis compares clinical outcomes for older people with COVID-19 in Wave 1 (W1) and 2 (W2). The thesis concludes that COVID-19 older adults in W2 were less likely to die than during W1. Patients presented to hospital during W2 were less frail and with lower disease severity and less likely to have renal decline.

234. Alexandre Afonso, Fabio Votta, Electoral and Religious Correlates of COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in Dutch Municipalities, 2022.08.23, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckac112 . Vaccination campaigns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have been extensively politicized in a number of countries. Controlling for a number of demographic, social and economic factors, we find a negative statistical relationship between the aggregate vote share of the populist right-wing Forum for Democracy (FvD) and the vaccination rate against COVID-19 across Dutch municipalities. We also find a negative relationship between the proportion of individuals with reformed Protestant and Muslim religious beliefs. These relationships can possibly be related to religious worldviews or mistrust towards authority. These results show that the politicization of health behaviours can have detrimental effects to public health campaigns.

233. Andrea Perez Navarro, Victoria Pilkington, etc., Efficacy of Approved versus Unapproved Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Randomised Blinded Clinical Trials, 2022.08.22, https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofac408 . Five SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are approved in North America and/or Europe, whileother vaccines have been developed but are not approved in high-income countries. This meta-analysis compared the efficacy of FDA/EMA approved and unapproved vaccines in randomised clinical trials (RCTs). This meta-analysis of 21 RCTs in 390,459 participants, showed no significant difference in efficacy between the FDA/EMA approved and unapproved vaccines for symptomatic or severe infection. Differences in study design, endpoint definitions, variants and infection prevalence may have influenced results. New patent-free vaccines could lower costs of worldwide SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns significantly.

232. Sarah Newey, Major Covid report suggests virus could have leaked from a US lab, 2022.09.14, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/backlash-major-covid-origins-report-suggests-virus-could-have/ . The Lancet’s paper said it is “feasible” that Sars-Cov-2 emerged from a natural spillover or a lab incident, but elements provoke backlash. However, discussion around the origins of Sars-Cov-2 was only a small element of the report, and experts said the rest of the paper was based on robust research.

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