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Our publications keep professionals informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.

Showing 1 - 20 of 47 results

Contagion, Care, and Interdependence in Pandemics

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Health Security
Publication Type
Article

How we share in the work of caring for one another during a pandemic is a common thread in the papers comprising this special feature. The collection itself represents another round of retrospection and forward thinking about ways to improve upon readiness and response for a catastrophic health event now that we have lived through the COVID-19 pandemic. Such was the theme, “Reimagining Preparedness in the Era of COVID-19,” around which the National Association of County and City Health Officials organized the 2023 annual Preparedness Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, and later elicited submissions to a special supplement of Health Security, of which these articles comprise a subset.1,2

Reimagining Preparedness in the Era of COVID-19

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Health Security
Publication Type
Article

In late December 2019, novel human pneumonia cases were detected in Wuhan City, China. By February 2020, the disease was officially named coronavirus 19 (COVID-19),1 and on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.2 As of March 30, 2022, the total number of deaths in the United States had reached 976,229 with nearly 80 million reported cases.

Authors
Laura Biesiadecki
Beth Hess
on behalf of the members of the 2022 Preparedness Summit Planning Committee
PanREMEDY meeting report cover

Post-Pandemic Recovery: From What, For Whom, and How?

Publication Type
Meeting Report

On October 4 and 6, 2022, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in collaboration with the Center for Health and Economic Resilience Research at Texas State University, convened a virtual symposium to consider how to operationalize the process of holistic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the event was to advise leaders in local and state government on what strategies they might adopt and/or support to facilitate recovery of the whole person from COVID-19, reverse the societal determinants of uneven impacts, and develop resilience to future public health emergencies.

Participant discussions produced a set of strategic actions that government authorities and partners can implement now and moving forward to effect necessary repair and change when the impulse to forget and move on is strong. Speakers represented a broad range of stakeholders, including local elected officials, recovery/resilience officers, planners, public health practitioners, disaster managers, financial investors, mental health professionals, healthcare administrators, religious leaders, housing advocates, community health providers, rural health experts, food security providers, social service administrators, academic researchers, restorative justice experts, equity strategists, artists, writers, and journalists.

Authors
Rex Long
Emily Repasky
Britney Treviño
et al.
Cover of the CommuniHealth Playbook

The CommuniHealth Playbook: How to Spur on Your Local Community Health Sector

Publication Type
Report

The CommuniHealth Playbook compiles field-tested strategies and tactics for advancing the community health sector locally. The Playbook’s practical guidance is the culminating product of CommuniHealth, the successor to the CommuniVax Coalition. With the support of a national working group, teams in Alabama, California, and Maryland used direct experience, trial and error, and ground-level truth to develop practical ways of mobilizing local forces for vibrant and sustainably resourced community health systems. This introductory text provides context for the project, shares the CommuniHealth “Principles for Partnership with Communities,” and serves as a centralized index to the guidance contained in the 3 local team reports.

Authors
Emily Brunson
Madison Taylor
Marc Trotochaud
on behalf of the CommuniHealth Coalition
CommuniVax National Report #3 report cover

A Waypoint on the Path to Health Equity: COVID-19 Vaccination at Month 11

Publication Type
Report

This CommuniVax Coalition report represents a waypoint in the COVID-19 pandemic: an opportunity to pause to mark the distance traveled, alter the course if necessary, and set out on the next part of the journey. It describes progress made toward greater equity in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and proposes steps to advance even further. CommuniVax is a national rapid research coalition of social scientists, public health experts, healthcare providers, and community advocates, and a part of the larger community of practice that has observed and participated in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout through an equity lens.

Authors
Emily Brunson
Divya Hosangadi
Rex Long
Madison Taylor
Marc Trotochaud
on behalf of the CommuniVax Coalition

Modeling epidemic recovery: An expert elicitation on issues and approaches

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Social Science & Medicine
Publication Type
Article

Since the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late 2019, the world has been in a state of high alert and reactivity. Once the acute stage of the infectious disease crisis does abate, however, few if any communities will have a detailed roadmap to guide recovery – that is, the process of becoming whole again and working to reduce similar, future risk. In both research and policy contexts where data are absent or difficult to obtain, expert judgment can help fill the void. Between November 2019 and February 2020, we conducted an expert elicitation process, asking fourteen key informants – with specializations in infectious diseases, disaster recovery, community resilience, public health, emergency management, and policymaking – to identify the design principles, priority issues, and field experiences that should inform development of an epidemic recovery model. Participants argued that recovery from epidemics is distinct from natural disasters due to epidemics’ potential to produce effects over large areas for extended periods of time and ability to generate high levels of fear, anticipatory anxiety, and antisocial behavior. Furthermore, epidemic recovery is a complex, nonlinear process involving many domains – political, economic, sociocultural, infrastructural, and human health. As such, an adequate model of post-epidemic recovery should extend beyond strictly medical matters, specify units of interest (e.g., individual, family, institution, sector, community), capture differing trajectories of recovery given social determinants of health, and be fit for use depending upon user group (e.g., policymakers, responders, researchers). This formative study commences a longer-term effort to generate indicators for a holistic, transformative epidemic recovery at the community level.

Longitudinal Risk Communication: A Research Agenda for Communicating in a Pandemic

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Health Security
Publication Type
Article

In this paper, we present a research agenda for longitudinal risk communication during a global pandemic. Starting from an understanding that traditional approaches to risk communication for epidemics, crises, and disasters have focused on short-duration events, we acknowledge the limitations of existing theories, frameworks, and models for both research and practice in a rapidly changing communication environment. We draw from scholarship in communication, sociology, anthropology, public health, emergency management, law, and technology to identify research questions that are fundamental to the communication challenges that have emerged under the threat of COVID-19. We pose a series of questions focused around 5 topics, then offer a catalog of prior research to serve as points of departure for future research efforts. This compiled agenda offers guidance to scholars engaging in practitioner-informed research and provides risk communicators with a set of substantial research questions to guide future knowledge needs.

Authors
Jeannette Sutton
Yonaira Rivera
DeeDee Bennett Gayle
Eric K. Stern
David Turetsky
CoumminVax National Report #2 - Carrying Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination Forward: Guidance Informed by Communities of Color

Carrying Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination Forward: Guidance Informed by Communities of Color

Publication Type
Report

Seven months into the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States, nearly 50% of the American population has been vaccinated. While this is a monumental accomplishment, there is still much work to do.

In the coming months, the country will face a series of vaccination challenges including serving groups with persistently low vaccine uptake (due to, for example, low/no access, vaccine hesitancy, or a combination of factors), expanding COVID-19 vaccination to children (particularly those whose parents may be less willing to vaccinate their children than to get vaccinated themselves), and orchestrating a potential booster dose campaign (with its own hesitancy issues). As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues, lessons from the vaccine rollout to date can help provide direction moving forward.

Authors
Emily Brunson
Mary Carnes
Divya Hosangadi
Rex Long
Madison Taylor
Marc Trotochaud
on behalf of the CommuniVax Coalition

A Public Health Systems View of Risk Communication About Zika

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Public Health Reports
Publication Type
Article

The spread of Zika virus throughout Latin America and parts of the United States in 2016 and 2017 presented a challenge to public health communicators. The objective of our study was to describe emergency risk communication practices during the 2016-2017 Zika outbreak to inform future infectious disease communication efforts.

Authors
Laura E. Pechta
Dale A. Rose
Keri M. Lubell
Michelle N. Podgornik

Critical Capability Needs for Reduction of Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Indoors

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Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Publication Type
Article

Coordination of efforts to assess the challenges and pain points felt by industries from around the globe working to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the indoor environment as well as innovative solutions applied to meet these challenges is mandatory. Indoor infectious viral disease transmission (such as coronavirus, norovirus, influenza) is a complex problem that needs better integration of knowledge. Critical to providing a reduction in transmission is to map the four core technical areas of environmental microbiology, transmission science, building science, and social science. To that end a three-stage science and innovation Summit was held to gather information on current standards, policies and procedures applied to reduce transmission in built spaces, as well as the technical challenges, science needs, and research priorities. The Summit elucidated steps than can be taken to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 indoors and calls for significant investments in research to develop knowledge of viral pathogen persistence and transport in the built environment, risk assessment and mitigation strategy considerations including such as processes and procedures to reduce the risk of exposure and infection including building systems operations, biosurveillance capacity, communication, leadership, and stakeholder engagement for optimal response. The findings reflect the effective application of existing knowledge and standards, emerging science, and lessons-learned from current efforts to confront SARS-CoV-2.

Authors
Jayne B. Morrow
Aaron Packman
Kenneth Martinez
Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg
Darla M. Goeres
Delphine Farmer
Jade Mitchell
Lisa Ng
Yair Hazi
Sandra C. Quinn
William P. Bahnfleth

Anthropological foundations of public health; the case of COVID 19

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Preventive Medicine Reports
Publication Type
Article
The complex societal spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. indicates a need to recognize sociocultural forces to best understand and respond to the pandemic. This essay describes four principles of anthropology and sister disciplines that underlie the theory and practice of public health.
    Authors
    Robert A. Hahn
    Equity in Vaccination: A Plan to Work with Communities of Color Toward COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond

    Equity in Vaccination: A Plan to Work with Communities of Color Toward COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond

    Publication Type
    Report

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had tragic and disproportionate adverse effects on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities across the United States. The number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths related to this disease is significantly higher in these groups. Additionally, members of BIPOC communities are among those hit the hardest by the economic and social upheavals caused by the pandemic.

    Authors
    Emily Brunson
    Divya Hosangadi
    Rex Long
    Madison Taylor
    Marc Trotochaud
    on behalf of the Working Group on Equity in COVID-19

    The public’s role in COVID-19 vaccination: human-centered recommendations to enhance pandemic vaccine awareness, access, and acceptance in the United States

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    Vaccine
    Publication Type
    Article

    Given the social and economic upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders, health officials, and members of the public are eager for solutions. One of the most promising, if they can be successfully developed, is vaccines. While the technological development of such countermeasures is currently underway, a key social gap remains. Past experience in routine and crisis contexts demonstrates that uptake of vaccines is more complicated than simply making the technology available. Vaccine uptake, and especially the widespread acceptance of vaccines, is a social endeavor that requires consideration of human factors. To provide a starting place for this critical component of a future COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States, the 23-person Working Group on Readying Populations for COVID-19 Vaccines was formed. One outcome of this group is a synthesis of the major challenges and opportunities associated with a future COVID-19 vaccination campaign and empirically-informed recommendations to advance public understanding of, access to, and acceptance of vaccines that protect against SARS-CoV-2. While not inclusive of all possible steps than could or should be done to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination, the working group believes that the recommendations provided are essential for a successful vaccination program.

    Authors
    Emily Brunson
    Rex Long
    Alexandra Ruth
    Marc Trotochaud
    Luciana Borio
    Joseph Buccina
    Nancy Connell
    Laura Lee Hall
    Nancy Kass
    Anna Kirkland
    Lisa Koonin
    Heidi Larson
    Brooke Fisher Lu
    Saad B. Omer
    Walter A. Orenstein
    Alexandre White

    A Social and Behavioral Research Agenda to Facilitate COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in the United States

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    Health Security
    Publication Type
    Article

    Since its first appearance in the United States in February 2020, novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 3.77 million and killed over 140,000 people in the United States (as of July 20, 2020).1 Responses to the virus, including closing venues where person-to-person spread was likely (eg, schools, churches, businesses) and requiring the use of masks and physical distancing measures when person-to-person contact could not be avoided, reduced the spread of SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, these protective actions have also radically transformed social life and upended national and household economies.2,3 As the health crisis continues and pandemic fatigue starts to take hold, political leaders, health officials, and the general public are anxiously searching for solutions.

    Authors
    Emily Brunson
    on behalf of the Working Group on Readying Populations for COVID-19 Vaccine
    Report cover for Interim Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution in the United States

    Interim Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution in the United States

    Publication Type
    Report

    The COVID-19 pandemic will continue for the foreseeable future, but widespread vaccination could hasten its end. At least 165 candidate vaccines for the SARS CoV-2 virus are in development around the world and there is hope that one or more of these candidates will soon be shown to be sufficiently safe and effective to achieve emergency use authorization in the United States. When a vaccine has been authorized for use, it will initially be in limited supply. During this period of scarcity, a plan is needed for how to allocate and distribute the limited supply—which groups should be prioritized to receive the vaccine first and which groups can wait until later. This difficult and potentially contentious topic is being actively discussed in the United States by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), as well as globally at the World Health Organization (WHO) and elsewhere. The purpose of this report is to offer an additional ethics framework for use in making decisions about allocation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine during this initial period of scarcity in the United States and make related suggestions about vaccine distribution. Our approach takes into account considerations of medical risk, public health, ethics and equity, economic impact, and logistics. We note where our approach aligns or differs from the 2018 CDC guidance for vaccine allocation in a severe influenza pandemic, which is the most recent pandemic vaccine guidance from the US government.

    Authors
    Carleigh Krubiner
    Justin Bernstein
    Matthew Watson
    Divya Hosangadi
    Nancy Connell
    Elizabeth L Daugherty-Biddison
    Alan Regenberg
    Resetting Our Response: Changes Needed in the US Approach to COVID-19

    Resetting Our Response: Changes Needed in the US Approach to COVID-19

    Publication Type
    Report

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been profound. Despite initial declines in cases in May 2020 following implementation of stringent stay-at-home orders, cases are resurging in most states. The number of deaths has been rising in many states, with hospitalization rates for COVID-19 now again matching or exceeding numbers seen at the peak in New York City in March and April. Hospitals are under pressure or approaching a crisis in many places around the country. This resurgence is stressing many sectors of society, from businesses to education to health care. Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic. It’s time to reset.

    This brief report describes concrete policy actions at the federal, state, and local levels that are needed to get control of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

    The Public’s Role in COVID-19 Vaccination report cover

    The Public’s Role in COVID-19 Vaccination: Planning Recommendations Informed by Design Thinking and the Social, Behavioral, and Communication Sciences

    Publication Type
    Report

    This report considers human factors in relation to future vaccines against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), drawing on insights from design thinking and the social, behavioral, and communication sciences. It provides recommendations—directed to both US policymakers and practitioners, as well as nontraditional partners new to public health’s mission of vaccination—on how to advance public understanding of, access to, and acceptance of vaccines that protect against COVID-19.

    Authors
    Emily Brunson
    Rex Long
    Ali Ruth
    Marc Trotochaud
    on behalf of the Working Group on Readying Populations for COVID-19 Vaccine
    Recommendations for Improving National Nurse Preparedness for Pandemic Response: Early Lessons from COVID-19

    Recommendations for Improving National Nurse Preparedness for Pandemic Response: Early Lessons from COVID-19

    Publication Type
    Report

    The rapid evolution and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed insufficiencies in the US health system to respond to a public health emergency, resulting in healthcare worker infections and deaths.1 Nurses have played and will continue to play a pivotal role in the response, yet compelling evidence from nurses in the field reveals a lack of access to personal protective equipment; inadequate knowledge and skills related to pandemic response; a lack of decision rights as they relate to workflow redesign, staffing decisions, and allocation of scarce resources; and a fundamental disconnect between frontline nurses and nurse executives and hospital administrators. These issues were brought to light in a recent survey conducted by the American Nurses Association, which found that 87% of nurses fear going to work, 36% have cared for an infectious patient without having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), and only 11% felt well-prepared to care for a COVID-19 patient.2 The efforts put forth by frontline nurses in caring for patients and ensuring the sustainability of health system operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite these challenges, is inspiring. However, there is a critical and compelling need to identify and understand the gaps and inadequacies in the US health system that have contributed to a lack of pandemic readiness, both within and outside of the nursing workforce, including in emergency planning and the procurement and allocation of resources such as PPE and ventilators.

    Authors
    Sue Anne Bell
    Mary Pat Couig
    Christopher R. Friese
    Roberta Proffitt Lavin
    Joan M. Stanley
    Filling in the Blanks: National Research Needs to Guide Decisions about Reopening Schools in the United States

    Filling in the Blanks: National Research Needs to Guide Decisions about Reopening Schools in the United States

    Publication Type
    Report

    Most elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across the United States have been closed since March in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools that are able to do so have replaced classroom education with remote learning, using a range of tools and approaches. As of the publication of this report, governors from most US states have recommended or ordered that schools remain closed for the remainder of this academic year, affecting more than 50 million public school students. While a few schools may reopen before the end of the current school year, most schools, students, and their families in the United States are now facing uncertainty about whether or how schools will resume for in-class learning in the fall.

    An Epidemic Recovery Framework to Jumpstart Analysis, Planning, and Action on a Neglected Aspect of Global Health Security

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    Clinical Infectious Diseases
    Publication Type
    Article

    Epidemic readiness and response command the disproportionate attention of health security decision-makers, planners, and practitioners, overshadowing recovery. How patients and their families, health organizations, community sectors, and entire societies recuperate from major outbreaks requires more systematic study and better translation into policy and guidance. To help remedy this neglected aspect of health emergency management, we offer a working definition for epidemic recovery and a preliminary model of post-epidemic recovery. Guiding this framework’s development are insights gleaned from the more mature study of post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation as well as recognition that post-outbreak recovery – which involves infectious disease, a biological hazard – presents challenges and opportunities distinct from events involving geological or meteorological hazards. Future work includes developing a consensus around characteristics of successful epidemic recovery, applying these metrics to support pre-incident planning for post-epidemic recovery, and using such a scheme to track and inform actual recovery from an epidemic.