COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 37810

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Perugia, 06132 Perugia, Italy
Interests: epidemiology; vaccine preventable diseases; vaccination; health technology assessment; public health; health services Research

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Guest Editor
Roman Academy of Public Health, Via Giovanni Nicotera, 29 - 00195 Rome, Italy
Interests: epidemiology; biostatistics; public health; vaccines; planetary health

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Guest Editor
Section of Hygiene, University Department of Life Sciences and Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Interests: vaccines; public health; health services research; planetary health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, with devastating health, social and economic impacts.

Since December 2020, several vaccines against this disease have been progressively approved and distributed worldwide, opening the way to a gradual going back to pre-pandemic life.

However, the issues related to these vaccines are still abundant and relevant from a Public Health viewpoint. They regard not only the efficacy and safety of vaccines and the duration of protection, but also the organization and overall impact of vaccination campaigns, the vaccination passports, the management of communication and many other aspects.

The aim of this issue is to collect contributions on the different Public Health aspects related to COVID-19 vaccines to finally provide stakeholders with relevant evidences that could be useful for the decision-making process. 

Prof. Dr. Chiara de Waure
Dr. Aldo Rosano
Dr. Chiara Cadeddu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • vaccines
  • vaccination
  • public health
  • pandemic

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 172 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue “COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective”
by Chiara de Waure, Chiara Cadeddu and Aldo Rosano
Vaccines 2023, 11(8), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11081379 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Public health is aimed at protecting and promoting citizens’ and communities’ health through different interventions, including vaccinations [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)

Research

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10 pages, 628 KiB  
Article
Planning and Organization of the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign: An Overview of Eight European Countries
by Chiara Cadeddu, Aldo Rosano, Leonardo Villani, Giovanni Battista Coiante, Ilaria Minicucci, Domenico Pascucci and Chiara de Waure
Vaccines 2022, 10(10), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10101631 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
The initial progress of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign worldwide depended on several aspects, including programmatic/practical issues. This paper focused on the planning and organization of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in eight European countries (Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France), from the [...] Read more.
The initial progress of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign worldwide depended on several aspects, including programmatic/practical issues. This paper focused on the planning and organization of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in eight European countries (Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France), from the launch to August 2021. Information on the planning of the vaccination campaign (release and update of a national immunization plan, types of vaccines being used and their limitations/suspensions) and its organization (vaccination target groups, possibility of citizens’ choice, vaccination workforce and settings, vaccines procurement) were obtained through desk research of international and national reports, plans, and websites. Eventually, data on vaccination coverage were drawn from Our world in data and analyzed through join point regression. The eight countries showed differences in groups prioritization, limitations/suspensions of use of specific vaccines, citizens’ possibility to choose vaccines, and vaccination workforce involved. These issues could have contributed to the different progress towards high levels of vaccination coverage. In respect to vaccination coverage, Romania reached much lower levels than other countries. Further comparative research is needed in order to identify best practices in vaccination campaign that could be useful for the next phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, and be better prepared for future potential pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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12 pages, 492 KiB  
Article
Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccination in the Elderly: A Cross-Sectional Study in Southern Italy
by Francesca Gallè, Elita Anna Sabella, Paolo Roma, Giovanna Da Molin, Giusy Diella, Maria Teresa Montagna, Stefano Ferracuti, Giorgio Liguori, Giovanni Battista Orsi and Christian Napoli
Vaccines 2021, 9(11), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9111222 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 5038
Abstract
In Italy, at the end of 2020, a voluntary immunization plan against COVID-19 was introduced, involving elderly among the first target categories. The aim of this study was to assess, through an online questionnaire, the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination in a sample of [...] Read more.
In Italy, at the end of 2020, a voluntary immunization plan against COVID-19 was introduced, involving elderly among the first target categories. The aim of this study was to assess, through an online questionnaire, the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination in a sample of older adults from southern Italy. Of a total of 1041 respondents (41.7% males, mean age 76.6 ± 6.5), 965 (92.7%) were vaccinated or willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, although less than half of the sample was favorable to vaccinations and agreed with mandatory immunization. Acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination was found to be positively related with higher educational level (OR = 1.875, CI95% = 1.113–3.161; p = 0.018) and having social/mass media as a main source of information (OR = 2.415 CI95% = 1.358–4.296, p = 0.003). On the contrary, an inverse relationship was found between acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination and having fulfilled the questionnaire after the introduction of green pass (OR = 0.218, CI95% = 0.129–0.369; p < 0.001). Therefore, although this evidence needs to be further confirmed, it is possible to agree with previous studies reporting that compulsory measures, such as green pass implementation, must be accompanied by effective education and information strategies of the target population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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15 pages, 2000 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine and Social Media in the U.S.: Exploring Emotions and Discussions on Twitter
by Amir Karami, Michael Zhu, Bailey Goldschmidt, Hannah R. Boyajieff and Mahdi M. Najafabadi
Vaccines 2021, 9(10), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9101059 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 4688
Abstract
The understanding of the public response to COVID-19 vaccines is the key success factor to control the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand the public response, there is a need to explore public opinion. Traditional surveys are expensive and time-consuming, address limited health topics, and [...] Read more.
The understanding of the public response to COVID-19 vaccines is the key success factor to control the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand the public response, there is a need to explore public opinion. Traditional surveys are expensive and time-consuming, address limited health topics, and obtain small-scale data. Twitter can provide a great opportunity to understand public opinion regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The current study proposes an approach using computational and human coding methods to collect and analyze a large number of tweets to provide a wider perspective on the COVID-19 vaccine. This study identifies the sentiment of tweets using a machine learning rule-based approach, discovers major topics, explores temporal trend and compares topics of negative and non-negative tweets using statistical tests, and discloses top topics of tweets having negative and non-negative sentiment. Our findings show that the negative sentiment regarding the COVID-19 vaccine had a decreasing trend between November 2020 and February 2021. We found Twitter users have discussed a wide range of topics from vaccination sites to the 2020 U.S. election between November 2020 and February 2021. The findings show that there was a significant difference between tweets having negative and non-negative sentiment regarding the weight of most topics. Our results also indicate that the negative and non-negative tweets had different topic priorities and focuses. This research illustrates that Twitter data can be used to explore public opinion regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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13 pages, 623 KiB  
Article
Global Trends and Correlates of COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy: Findings from the iCARE Study
by Jovana Stojanovic, Vincent G. Boucher, Myriam Gagne, Samir Gupta, Keven Joyal-Desmarais, Stefania Paduano, Ala’ S. Aburub, Sherri N. Sheinfeld Gorin, Angelos P. Kassianos, Paula A. B. Ribeiro, Simon L. Bacon and Kim L. Lavoie
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060661 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 55 | Viewed by 6924
Abstract
The success of large-scale COVID-19 vaccination campaigns is contingent upon people being willing to receive the vaccine. Our study explored COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and its correlates in eight different countries around the globe. We analyzed convenience sample data collected between March 2020 and [...] Read more.
The success of large-scale COVID-19 vaccination campaigns is contingent upon people being willing to receive the vaccine. Our study explored COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and its correlates in eight different countries around the globe. We analyzed convenience sample data collected between March 2020 and January 2021 as part of the iCARE cross-sectional study. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted to explore the correlates of vaccine hesitancy. We included 32,028 participants from eight countries, and observed that 27% of the participants exhibited vaccine hesitancy, with increases over time. France reported the highest level of hesitancy (47.3%) and Brazil reported the lowest (9.6%). Women, younger individuals (≤29 years), people living in rural areas, and those with a lower perceived income were more likely to be hesitant. People who previously received an influenza vaccine were 70% less likely to report COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. We observed that people reporting greater COVID-19 health concerns were less likely to be hesitant, whereas people with higher personal financial concerns were more likely to be hesitant. Our findings indicate that there is substantial vaccine hesitancy in several countries, with cross-national differences in the magnitude and direction of the trend. Vaccination communication initiatives should target hesitant individuals (women, younger adults, people with lower incomes and those living in rural areas), and should highlight the immediate health, social and economic benefits of vaccination across these settings. Country-level analyses are warranted to understand the complex psychological, socio-environmental, and cultural factors associated with vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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13 pages, 407 KiB  
Article
Knowledge and Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccination among Undergraduate Students from Central and Southern Italy
by Francesca Gallè, Elita Anna Sabella, Paolo Roma, Osvalda De Giglio, Giuseppina Caggiano, Silvio Tafuri, Giovanna Da Molin, Stefano Ferracuti, Maria Teresa Montagna, Giorgio Liguori, Giovanni Battista Orsi and Christian Napoli
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060638 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 86 | Viewed by 7313
Abstract
At the end of 2020, the Italian Ministry of Health launched a national vaccination campaign to counteract the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aimed at appraising levels of knowledge about and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination in a sample of Italian undergraduates during the [...] Read more.
At the end of 2020, the Italian Ministry of Health launched a national vaccination campaign to counteract the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aimed at appraising levels of knowledge about and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination in a sample of Italian undergraduates during the first phase of the immunization plan. A web-based questionnaire was administered to students attending universities in Bari, Naples, and Rome during the period February–April 2021. Of the total of 3226 participants, 91.9% were keen to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. More than 80% gave correct answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccine administration, functioning, and effects on community health. However, only 63.8% identified the correct composition of the available vaccines. Knowledge was found to be related to sociodemographic features and COVID-19 vaccination acceptance (p < 0.05). COVID-19 vaccination acceptance was found to be related to having a previous vaccination against influenza (OR 3.806, CI 95% 1.181–12.267; p = 0.025) and knowledge (OR 4.759, CI 95% 2.106–10.753; p = 0.000). These results show a good level of awareness about COVID-19 vaccination in this population, which may indicate the effectiveness of communication strategies accompanying the COVID-19 immunization campaign in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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Review

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19 pages, 2829 KiB  
Review
Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections in the US: Implications for Prolonging the Pandemic
by Donald J. Alcendor, Patricia Matthews-Juarez, Duane Smoot, James E. K. Hildreth, Kimberly Lamar, Mohammad Tabatabai, Derek Wilus and Paul D. Juarez
Vaccines 2022, 10(5), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10050755 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2950
Abstract
The incidence of COVID-19 breakthrough infections—an infection that occurs after you have been vaccinated—has increased in frequency since the Delta and now Omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have become the dominant strains transmitted in the United States (US). Evidence suggests that individuals [...] Read more.
The incidence of COVID-19 breakthrough infections—an infection that occurs after you have been vaccinated—has increased in frequency since the Delta and now Omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have become the dominant strains transmitted in the United States (US). Evidence suggests that individuals with breakthrough infections, though rare and expected, may readily transmit COVID-19 to unvaccinated populations, posing a continuing threat to the unvaccinated. Here, we examine factors contributing to breakthrough infections including a poor immune response to the vaccines due to the fact of advanced age and underlying comorbidities, the natural waning of immune protection from the vaccines over time, and viral variants that escape existing immune protection from the vaccines. The rise in breakthrough infections in the US and how they contribute to new infections, specifically among the unvaccinated and individuals with compromised immune systems, will create the need for additional booster vaccinations or development of modified vaccines that directly target current variants circulating among the general population. The need to expedite vaccination among the more than 49.8 million unvaccinated eligible people in the US is critical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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20 pages, 558 KiB  
Review
Challenges and Opportunities of Mass Vaccination Centers in COVID-19 Times: A Rapid Review of Literature
by Vincenza Gianfredi, Flavia Pennisi, Alessandra Lume, Giovanni Emanuele Ricciardi, Massimo Minerva, Matteo Riccò, Anna Odone and Carlo Signorelli
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060574 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 6309
Abstract
A mass vaccination center is a location, normally used for nonhealthcare activities, set up for high-volume and high-speed vaccinations during infectious disease emergencies. The high contagiousness and mortality of COVID-19 and the complete lack of population immunity posed an extraordinary threat for global [...] Read more.
A mass vaccination center is a location, normally used for nonhealthcare activities, set up for high-volume and high-speed vaccinations during infectious disease emergencies. The high contagiousness and mortality of COVID-19 and the complete lack of population immunity posed an extraordinary threat for global health. The aim of our research was to collect and review previous experiences on mass vaccination centers. On 4 April 2021, we developed a rapid review searching four electronic databases: PubMed/Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, Google Scholar and medRxiv. From a total of 2312 papers, 15 of them were included in the current review. Among them, only one article described a COVID-19 vaccination center; all of the others referred to other vaccinations, in particular influenza. The majority were conducted in the United States, and were simulations or single-day experiences to practice a mass vaccination after bioterrorist attacks. Indeed, all of them were published after September 11 attacks. Regarding staff, timing and performance, the data were highly heterogenous. Several studies used as a model the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Results highlighted the differences around the definition, layout and management of a mass vaccination center, but some aspects can be considered as a core aspect. In light of this, we suggested a potential definition. The current review answers to the urgency of organizing a mass vaccination center during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the most important organizational aspects that should be considered in the planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccines: A Public Health Perspective)
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