CITF Research Roundup | Issue 11 | April 20, 2021
International Research Review

International Research Review

Emerging studies to understand long COVID

More research is being conducted to assess “long COVID”, defined as symptoms persisting for weeks to months after recovering from COVID-19. A study published in JAMA studying Swedish health care workers found that the most common long-lasting symptoms were the loss of taste and smell, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Meantime, in an Italian report published in Acta Paediatrica, researchers found long COVID affects children much like adults.

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From the lab to your home: will at-home sampling and testing become the new normal?

The current pandemic is re-shaping the communicable disease testing landscape. Self-sampling, self-testing, and rapid diagnostic tests could soon become the norm. The diagnostic performance of different types of collections done by trained personnel versus self-sampling has been evaluated and reported in several recent publications. Two of the articles published this month, in Scientific Reports and The Lancet, comparing sampling methods for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic RT-PCR and serology are summarized.

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Spotlight on CITF-funded Research

Spotlight on CITF-funded Research

Latest Canadian findings point to widening inequalities in the fight against COVID-19

Results from the latest Canadian Blood Services/COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) collaborative nine-province seroprevalence study confirm that the pandemic is increasingly affecting poorer neighbourhoods and racialized populations. Whereas inequalities were identified early in the pandemic, they are not only persistent, but appear to be growing.

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Publications from our Experts

Two studies from Ontario highlight the importance of sociodemographic factors and COVID-19 risk

As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into its third wave, it is apparent that socioeconomic determinants of health play a role in determining risk of infection. Using place of residence as a proxy, two studies from Ontario have submitted preprints (therefore not yet peer-reviewed) demonstrating how socioeconomic status is associated with increased risk of getting COVID-19. Both of these studies, done in collaboration with Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group member Dr. Jeff Kwong, highlight that as the pandemic has evolved, so have geographic areas of risk.

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Why COVID-19 vaccine efficacy matters for older people

Data on vaccine effectiveness among elderly individuals is lacking since many vaccine trials do not include individuals over the age of 65. For this Short Communication published in Vaccine, CITF-funded researcher Dr. Manish Sadarangani from the University of British Columbia and colleagues used mathematical modelling to assess the effectiveness of hypothetical COVID-19 vaccines that would either stop infection and transmission, or prevent severe disease.

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