COVID-19, nursing home quality and vaccination

Interesting findings from an NBER working paper by Cronin and Evans (2020): Higher-quality nursing homes, as measured by inspection ratings, have substantially lower COVID-19 mortality. Quality does not predict the ability to prevent any COVID-19 resident or staff cases, but higher-quality establishments prevent the spread of resident infections conditional on having one. Preventing COVID-19 cases…

Positive news on a COVID-19 vaccine

Great news on progress for a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. From their press release: Vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis Analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants Study enrolled 43,538 participants,…

Vaccines provide good value for money in low- and middle-income countries

That is according to a Health Affairspaper by So Yoon Sim et al. (2020). We estimated economic benefits using cost-of-illness and value-of-a-statistical-life approaches and combined this estimation with immunization program costs to derive the return on investment from immunization programs against ten pathogens for ninety-four low- and middle-income countries for the period 2011–30. Using the…

Winning the fight against tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) kills the most people in the world of any other pathogen. While treatments are available to fight TB, there are a number of challenges. First, many individuals may have latent TB where the disease may be contagious before symptoms are apparent. Second, the spread of HIV has also been problematic for controlling TB,…

Polio eradicated in Africa?

Some positive news as reported in The Economist: On August 21st Nigeria marked three years since its last documented case of wild polio. That means the country is set to be declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation-backed Global Polio Eradication Initiative. If that happens, probably next year, all of Africa will be officially free…

Polio vaccination and mass hysteria

We are getting close to eradicating polio…but we are not there yet. That is why a recent article in this week’s Economist on polio vaccination in Pakistan is so troubling. Worried parents began arriving at hospitals in ones and twos, then dozens and soon hundreds. Each was convinced their child was sick, poisoned by polio…