COVID-19: Expert Reviews of Relevant and Emerging Literature2021-04-28T15:30:24-04:00

The authors of this article examine whether social and behavioral risk factors were associated with mortality related to COVID-19 among US veterans.  Specific risk factors examined in the study include housing problems, financial hardship, and tobacco, alcohol, and substance use.  Data were retrieved from the VA Corporate Warehouse.  The primary method of data analysis was multivariable logistic regression models.  The sample consisted of 27,640 veterans.  The results indicated that of the social and behavioral risk factors, housing problems (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.96; 95% CI, 0.77-1.19; P = .70), financial hardship (AOR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.97-1.31; P = .11), current tobacco use

Obamacare Upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, in its  7-2 decision in the Texas v. California case, refused to find that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, determining that the plaintiffs (which included the state of Indiana) did not have standing to bring a claim in court against the law.

A round-up of recent developments around the evidence on COVID-19 and schools includes: (1) preliminary snapshots of elementary and secondary school students’ performance on standardized test scores in 2020–21, (2) a new examination of the role of small class sizes in reducing infection risk, and (3) many colleges requiring COVID-19 vaccination for students this fall.

Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Upheld by Federal Court

Earlier this week, Houston (Texas) Methodist Hospital suspended without pay 178 healthcare workers for refusing COVID-19 vaccinations in violation of the hospital’s new mandate that all of their nearly 25,000 employees be fully vaccinated by Monday. According to the report by, these employees did not get either religious or medical exemptions (285 unvaccinated employees did receive either medical or religious exemptions, and another 332 were granted deferrals on the deadline).

Determining what is keeping people from being vaccinated against COVID-19, and how to communicate more persuasively to encourage more people to get vaccinated, is essential to getting the pandemic under control. This is true among all groups of people.

This brief from Nature discusses mass vaccinations and its effects on the spread of COVID-19 in children.  Data from the small town of Serrana in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo indicate that adult vaccinations are a protective factor against infection spread in children.  In the town, 98% of adults have been vaccinated with CoronaVac and the town is the site of Project S, which measures the effectiveness of the vaccine.  The most recent data revealed that symptomatic cases dropped by 80% and mortality by 95%.  A similar reduction was seen in unvaccinated children.  This is a

Antibody response to COVID-19 vaccine in immune-mediated diseases

Vaccine Requirements for Employers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently updated its guidance on pandemic-related policies for employers. While any policy will need to be checked against both state laws (for example, if that state has prohibited employer vaccine passports) and federal disability and civil rights laws, the guidance gives the green light to several types of employer vaccine policies that have been gaining prominence, including:

Evidence suggests that there are several challenges facing school districts planning for summer 2021 and the 2021–22 school year—and that these challenges disproportionately affect disadvantaged students and schools—but research can also inform those planning efforts as well.

Post-COVID syndrome in non-hospitalized patients

Health Systems & Supply Strategies

Basic Reproduction Number (R0)

Health Systems and Strategies

This article by Panda et al. reports a qualitative study of health care worker (HCW) redeployment strategies based on interviews with hospital leaders from 9 hospitals in 8 health systems across 5 countries (USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea). The study provides detailed, qualitative data on hospital leader approaches and concerns that can help guide planning and development of redeployment plans to address future emergencies.

As this school year draws to a close and school leaders and administrators shift to planning for the summer months and the 2021–22 school year, several new resources provide data and evidence to inform those efforts:

Legal Epidemiology and Pandemic Control

Artificial Intelligence

Health professionals around the world are encouraging people to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine once available and eligible. However, communities are faced with increased rates of vaccine hesitancy, which may deter goals to get a certain percentage of the population vaccinated. This week’s readings explore views from around the world of vaccine hesitancy and how to address it.

Vaccine Hesitancy in the United States

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Creative Commons License The literature reviews on this blog were created under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , which allows the reuse and adaptation of the work by noncommercial entities. These rights do not extend to the articles that the authors are reviewing.

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