Using national COVID-19 notification, hospitalisation, and vaccination datasets from Brazil, we did a testnegative, case-control study to assess the effectiveness of four vaccines (CoronaVac [Sinovac], ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [AstraZeneca], Ad26.COV2.S [Janssen], and BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNtech]) for individuals with laboratory-confirmed previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. We matched cases with RT-PCR positive, symptomatic COVID-19 with up to ten controls with negative RT-PCR tests who presented with symptomatic illnesses, restricting both groups to tests done at least 90 days after an initial infection. We used multivariable conditional logistic regression to compare the odds of test positivity and the odds of hospitalisation or death due to COVID-19, according to vaccination status and time since first or second dose of vaccines.

16th May 2022 • comment

COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy and child vaccination: Challenges from Brazil

by Michelle Fernandez, Gustavo Matta, Ester Paiva

In the world, the governments' policy decisions in response to COVID-19 were very different. Many countries, including in the Americas, political polarisation in health policies has been used as a tool for ideological dispute, draining out the debate around the right to social protection and health. During 2021, these strategies were used in vaccination policies. The consequences of the dissemination of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines overflows distrust and hesitation into an entire public health project.

12th April 2022 • comment

Inequitable access to the fruits of research during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgency — and feasibility — of overhauling the R&D system.

8th March 2022 • comment

Español/English/Português Esta Hoja de ruta de investigación de las Naciones Unidas para la recuperación de COVID-19 proporciona un marco para aprovechar el potencial de la Ciencia en apoyo de una recuperación socioeconómica más afectiva, y un futuro más equitativo, resiliente y sostenible. Diseñado para complementar el Marco de la ONU para la respuesta socioeconómica inmediata ante COVID-19 (abril de 2020), esta Hoja de Ruta en Investigación se desarrolló rápidamente, en diez semanas, a través de un proceso participativo global que se basó en los conocimientos de investigadores/as, fuentes de financiación de investigación, legisladores/as gubernamentales, sociedad civil, y personas líderes y/o funcionarios/as de la ONU de todo el mundo. Vea el Diálogo abierto con el Secretario General Adjunto de la ONU sobre Ciencia para el Desarrollo en el contexto de COVID-11 (disponible en inglés). El diálogo fue copatrocinado por los Institutos Canadienses de Investigación en Salud y la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas para las Asociaciones de Colaboración. ¿Cómo puede la Ciencia contribuir a una recuperación más equitativa, resiliente y sostenible de la pandemia de COVID-19? Estrategias para mejorar la colaboración entre los organismos de financiación de la investigación, las instituciones de investigación y las Naciones Unidas del mundo.

4th March 2022 • comment

Both  vaccines  demonstrated  overall  effectiveness  against  severe  COVID-19  up  to  80  years  of age.  Our  results  suggest  that  individuals  aged  90  years or  older  may  benefit from  an expedited  third  booster  dose.  Ongoing  evaluations, including  any  additional  vaccines authorized,  are  crucial  to  monitoring  long-term vaccine  effectiveness.

26th January 2022 • comment

A complete regimen of CoronaVac in pregnant women was effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, and highly effective against severe illness in a setting that combines high disease burden and elevated Covid-19 related maternal deaths.

26th January 2022 • comment

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The pandemic not only induced a public health crisis, but has led to severe economic, social, and educational crises. Across economies and societies, the distributional consequences of the pandemic have been uneven. Among groups living in vulnerable conditions, the pandemic substantially magnified the inequality gaps, with possible negative implications for these individuals' long-term physical, socioeconomic, and mental wellbeing. This Viewpoint proposes priority, programmatic, and policy recommendations that governments, resource partners, and relevant stakeholders should consider in formulating medium-term to long-term strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19, addressing the virus's impacts, and decreasing health inequalities.

26th January 2022 • comment

By the first week of June, Brazil had reached almost 17 million cases and a little more than 472,000 deaths. A notable demographic change has been observed within this period, in which young and middle-aged adults representing an increasing share of patients in wards and intensive care units (ICU).

22nd July 2021 • comment

The notion that health crises unfairly and disproportionately affect vulnerable populations was observed and documented during the greatest health crisis of this century. Furthermore, studies have shown that the distribution of COVID-19 is unequal among different ethnic and socioeconomic groups (Horta, 2020 and Wang, 2020). 

30th June 2021 • comment

This paper examines the predictability of COVID-19 worldwide lethality considering 43 countries. Based on the values inherent to Permutation entropy (Hs) and Fisher information measure (Fs), we apply the Shannon-Fisher causality plane (SFCP), which allows us to quantify the disorder an evaluate randomness present in the time series of daily death cases related to COVID-19 in each country.

25th June 2021 • comment

In this study, we analyze the perception of Brazilians about COVID-19 in 12 cities in the country. Issues about the severity and dangers of the disease, sources of information and reliability, checking information, attitudes, precautions and priorities for coping and trusting relationships in science were addressed. 

18th June 2021 • comment

We recently reported vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates against symptomatic disease with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.(1) After a full course, VE reached 88% with the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine and 67% with the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 AZD1222 vaccine. This provided important evidence that despite modest reductions in protection, vaccines remain effective against Delta. However, the very recent emergence of the variant and the relatively low case numbers meant that it was not possible to estimate VE against severe disease.

14th June 2021 • comment

The emergence of COVID-19 in Brazil further explained the massive discrepancy between different social realities coexisting in the country, rekindling the discussions about food and nutrition security, similarly to what has been happening in other countries facing the same pandemic situation. In this paper, we argue that the risks to hunger and food security in Brazil have been present since 2016 and are now being exacerbated due to the emergence of the COVID-19 epidemic. 

10th June 2021 • comment

Critically ill 2019 coronavirus disease patients (COVID-19) under invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) are 10- to 40-times more likely to die than the general population. Although progression from mild to severe COVID-19 has been associated with hypoxia, uncontrolled inflammation and coagulopathy, the mechanisms involved in progression to severity are poorly understood. By analyzing the virome from tracheal aspirates (TA) of 25 COVID-19 patients under IMV, we found higher levels and differential expression of human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) genes compared to nasopharyngeal swabs from mild cases and TA from non-COVID patients. Proteomic analysis and RT-PCR confirmed the presence of HERV-K in these patients.   

21st May 2021 • comment

Current approaches of drug repurposing against COVID-19 have not proven overwhelmingly successful and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to cause major global mortality. SARS-CoV-2 nsp12, its RNA polymerase, shares homology in the nucleotide uptake channel with the HCV orthologue enzyme NS5B. Besides, HCV enzyme NS5A has pleiotropic activities, such as RNA binding, that are shared with various SARS-CoV-2 proteins. 

21st April 2021 • comment
24th March 2021 • comment

Essential workers have been shown to present a higher prevalence of positive screenings for anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals from countries with socioeconomic inequalities may be at increased risk for mental health disorders.

14th December 2020 • comment

Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. Our aim was to study nutritional modifications during COVID-19 confinement in adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, compare them with their usual diet and dietary guidelines, and identify variables that may have influenced changes. 

14th December 2020 • comment

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was initially described as a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is now known, however, that many other biological systems are affected, including the central nervous system (CNS). Neurological manifestations such as stroke, encephalitis, and psychiatric conditions have been reported in COVID-19 patients, but its neurotropic potential is still debated. Here, we investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the brain from an infant patient deceased from COVID-19.  FULL TEXT

2nd October 2020 • comment

Psycho-Neuroendocrine-Immune Interactions in COVID-19: Potential Impacts on Mental Health

by Ícaro Raony, Camila Saggioro de Figueiredo, Pablo Pandolfo, Elizabeth Giestal-de-Araujo, Priscilla Oliveira-Silva Bomfim, Wilson Savino

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The impacts of the disease may be beyond the respiratory system, also affecting mental health. Several factors may be involved in the association between COVID-19 and psychiatric outcomes, such as fear inherent in the pandemic, adverse effects of treatments, as well as financial stress, and social isolation. 

4th July 2020 • comment

The global spread of 2019-nCoV: a molecular evolutionary analysis

by Domenico Benvenuto, Marta Giovanetti, Marco Salemi, Mattia Prosperi, Cecilia De Flora, Luiz Carlos J

The global spread of the 2019-nCoV is continuing and is fast moving, as indicated by the WHO raising the risk assessment to high. In this article, we provide a preliminary phylodynamic and phylogeographic analysis of this new virus. A Maximum Clade Credibility tree has been built using the 29 available whole genome sequences of 2019-nCoV and two whole genome sequences that are highly similar sequences from Bat SARS-like Coronavirus available in GeneBank. 

27th February 2020 • comment