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Articles in E-pub version are posted online ahead of regular printed publication.

Original Article
Transmission parameters of coronavirus disease 2019 in South Asian countries
Mridul Sannyal, Abul Mukid Md. Mukaddes
Received September 1, 2021  Accepted December 15, 2021  Published online June 23, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0234    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to estimate the transmission parameters, effective reproduction number, epidemic peak, and future exposure of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in South Asian countries.
Methods
A susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered-death (SEIRD) model programmed with MATLAB was developed for this purpose. Data were collected (till June 28, 2021) from the official webpage of World Health Organization, along with the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The model was simulated to measure the primary transmission parameters. The reproduction number was measured using the next-generating matrix method.
Results
The primary transmission rate followed an exponential Gaussian process regression. India showed the highest transmission rate (0.037) and Bhutan the lowest (0.023). The simulated epidemic peaks matched the reported peaks, thereby validating the SEIRD model. The simulation was carried out up to December 31, 2020 using the reported data till June 9, 2020.
Conclusion
The information gathered in this research will be helpful for authorities to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the subsequent wave or in the future.
Brief Report
Safety monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old in the Republic of Korea
Seontae Kim, Insob Hwang, Mijeong Ko, Yunhyung Kwon, Yeon-Kyeng Lee
Received April 8, 2022  Accepted May 12, 2022  Published online June 10, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0122    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to disseminate information on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine safety among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years in the Republic of Korea.
Methods
Two databases were used to assess COVID-19 vaccine safety in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who completed the primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. Adverse events reported to the web-based COVID-19 vaccination management system (CVMS) and collected in the text message-based system were analyzed.
Results
From March 5, 2021 to February 13, 2022, 12,216 adverse events among 12- to 17-year-olds were reported to theCVMS, of which 97.1% were non-serious adverse events and 2.9% were serious adverse events, including 85 suspected cases of anaphylaxis, 74 suspected cases of myocarditis and/or pericarditis, and 2 deaths. From December 13, 2021 to January 26, 2022, 10,389 adolescents responded to a text message survey, and local/systemic adverse events were more common after dose 2 than after dose 1. The most commonly reported events following either vaccine dose were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue/tiredness, and myalgia.
Conclusion
The overall results are consistent with safety data reported in the United States and a controlled trial and serious adverse.events were rare among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years following COVID-19 vaccination.
Original Articles
Voluntary testing for COVID-19: perceptions and utilization among the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia
Ehab A. Abo-Ali, Ahmed Mousa, Rania Hussien, Shahad Mousa, Shayma Al-Rubaki, Mennatulla Omar, Badr Al-Haffashi, Abdullah Almilaibary
Received February 4, 2022  Accepted May 10, 2022  Published online June 10, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0062    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Voluntary testing (VT) plays a crucial role in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. The present study investigated the perceptions and utilization of VT services for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia.
Methods
In total, 3,510 adult participants from all provinces of Saudi Arabia were recruited via a national online survey.
Results
Of the 3,510 participants, 88.9% were aware of the testing services available to them and of those, more than half (59.5%) had used the VT services and 96.1% were satisfied with the services. Contact with a positive COVID-19 case was the top reason for accessing VT, while a lack of awareness about the availability of VT services was the top perceived limiting factor. A history of chronic health conditions, anxiety and/or depression, and previous symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 were found to be predictors of the utilization of VT services (odds ratio [OR] 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22−1.96; OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.16−1.88; and OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.77−3.95), respectively.
Conclusion
The awareness of voluntary COVID-19 testing services was satisfactory among the Saudi Arabian population, but can be improved. Sociodemographic and health history predictors of the utilization of VT services were identified.
Seroprevalence of immunoglobulin G antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in children and adolescents in Delhi, India, from January to October 2021: a repeated cross-sectional analysis
Pragya Sharma, Saurav Basu, Suruchi Mishra, Mongjam Meghachandra Singh
Received January 9, 2022  Accepted May 15, 2022  Published online June 10, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0014    [Epub ahead of print]
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  • 8 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The aim of this study was to assess changes in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG) seroprevalence among children and adolescents in Delhi, India from January 2021 to October 2021
Methods
This was a repeated cross-sectional analysis of participants aged 5 to 17 years from 2 SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence surveys conducted in Delhi, India during January 2021 and September to October 2021. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were detected by using the VITROS assay (90% sensitivity, 100% specificity).
Results
The seroprevalence among 5- to 17-year-old school-age children and adolescents increased from 52.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 51.3%−54.3%) in January 2021 to 81.8% (95% CI, 80.9%−82.6%) in September to October 2021. The assay-adjusted seroprevalence was 90.8% (95% CI, 89.8%−91.7%). Seropositivity positively correlated with participants’ age (p<0.001), but not sex (p=0.388). A signal to cut-off ratio ≥4.00, correlating with the presence of neutralization antibodies, was observed in 4,814 (57.9%) participants.
Conclusion
The high percentage of seroconversion among children and adolescents indicates the presence of natural infection-induced immunity from past exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, the lack of hybrid immunity and the concomitant likelihood of lower levels of neutralization antibodies than in adults due to the absence of vaccination warrants careful monitoring and surveillance of infection risk and disease severity from newer and emergent variants.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives