As we move on the journey to ‘Living with COVID’ and in doing so tolerate a greater risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in society and in our hospitals, one of the issues is the threat of “long COVID”. A recent study suggests that long COVID is less common with Omicron than with previous variants, and that vaccination is effective in preventing long COVID.Continue reading
WAAW 2022: A focus on prevention (IPC and vaccination)
Was delighted to introduce our series of events planned to coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2022 earlier today. I gave a short talk on why preventing infection via IPC measures and vaccination needs to be a cornerstone of our strategy to turn the time on antimicrobial resistance (slides here).
I also shot a short video to get us thinking about how the language we use will influence the degree to which we connect with the various stakeholders that need to collaborate to address antimicrobial resistance:Continue reading
Everybody’s talking about the Lancet Commission on COVID-19
The Lancet has published a hard-hitting piece on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report includes a blow-by-blow account of the pandemic and the lessons that have emerged, and some important recommendations from a global public health viewpoint. Unsurprisingly, this piece has generated a lot of interest and people are talking about it, which is no bad thing!Continue reading
COVID-19 – what have we learned?
I did a talk at an IPC conference the other day trying to summarise what we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can see my slides here. I think (hope) we have learned a lot – and still have more to learn – about (in no particular order): PPE, transmission routes, testing and laboratory factors, vaccination, organizational transformation, guidelines and policy development, regulatory framework, outbreaks, non-COVID pathogens, antimicrobial stewardship, digital transformation, applied research, and the mental health of our workforce.Continue reading
Omicron: things are moving quickly and looking better…but we’re not there yet
My last post on Omicron was on 22/12/2021, 15 days ago, which seems like a lifetime ago! Back then, there was a great deal of uncertainty about how Omicron would manifest clinically, and how this would translate into hospitalisations and deaths. We now known more, but there is still considerable uncertainty. The latest technical briefing from UKHSA provides additional epidemiological updates. And the latest ONS study on prevalence in the UK gives us some eye-watering figures: in the week ending 31/12/2021, 1 in 25 people in England were infected with COVID-19, and 1 in 15 people in London. There’s a lot of it about. Overall, the outlook is looking better, but it’s going to be a very bumpy ride for those working in healthcare over the next month or so.Continue reading
B.1.617.2: an update
PHE released the latest epidemiological summary of the B.1.617.2 VOC (aka “the variant that was first identified in India”) a few days ago. Evidence is emerging rapidly, and the datasets are far from conclusive. But it now seems clear that B.1.617.2 is more transmissible, causes no more hospitalisation or mortality, and vaccine effectiveness is slightly reduced when compared with other variants.Continue reading
The role of IPC, vaccination, and OTC distribution in AMR
I had the privilege of chairing a session in the BSAC Spring Conference webinars yesterday about the role of IPC, vaccination, and OTC distribution in AMR. The session had a talk from Professor Andreas Voss on IPC as a cornerstone of successful stewardship, Dr Elizabeth Klemm on prevention through vaccination, and Dr Abdul Ghafur on community pharmacy and the challenge of over-the-counter (OTC) distribution.Continue reading
Early data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in England
Results from the SIREN study published yesterday bring us some much-needed good news: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is very effective in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers!Continue reading