Authors of HCPDS working paper warn against underestimating severity of latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron

Omicron variant

Epidemiologist William Hanage, PhD, and infectious disease specialist Roby P. Bhattacharyya, MD, PhD, have authored an HCPDS working paper (Vol. 21, No. 10) in which they caution against inferring intrinsic traits (particularly, severity) from population-level observations, such as what has been observed in South Africa. Vaccination and immunity from prior infections, for example, complicate comparisons between the population-level infection-fatality rate (IFR) of Omicron versus earlier waves (e.g., the Delta variant).

“Picturing Prevention” working paper offers impactful visualizations of the protection of vaccination from hospitalization and death due to COVID-19

Graph showing Visualization of the number of persons fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, and the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, for 12 US states, January – July 2021.

A Harvard Pop Center Working Paper by Jarvis T. Chen, ScD, Christian Testa, BS, William P. Hanage, PhD, and Nancy Krieger, PhD, offers vivid and simple graphics that illustrate why getting vaccinated against COVID-19 matters by depicting available data for 12 states from January – July 2021.

USA Today reports: What does the recent drop in life expectancy in the U.S. tell us?

Head shot of Jennifer Karas Montez

During the pandemic in 2020, life expectancy in the U.S. suffered the biggest drop since World War II, declining by 1.5 years with Black and Hispanic populations seeing even larger drops. According to former post-doc fellow Jennifer Karas Montez who is interviewed by USA Today, the downward trend in U.S. life expectancy and the increasing social and economic inequalities that were taking place before the pandemic hit must be addressed.…

Mass vaccination campaign in India may have contributed to spike in cases

Headshot of Professor Subramanian

Professor S (Subu) V Subramanian, PhD, has authored a comment in The Lancet Global Health in which he cautions that the mass vaccination campaign in India may have contributed to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases there. He urges leadership in India to rethink its vaccination strategy to reduce virus spread by preventing overcrowding and enforcing non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as masking and social distancing, at vaccination centers. On, Subu…

“In India, anything and everything is a super-spreader event”

Headshot of Professor Subramanian

Harvard Pop Center faculty member S (Subu) V Subramanian, PhD, tells The Harvard Gazette that “in India, anything and everything is a super-spreader event.” A visualization dashboard of COVID-19 vaccine distribution in India by Subramanian’s Geographic Insights Lab was also cited by The New York Times in an article describing the recent and devastating surge of infections in the county.

How are changes in working status due to COVID-19 impacting the mental health of those Americans close to retirement age?

Head shot of Leah Abrams

Harvard Pop Center’s Sloan Fellow on Aging and Work Leah Abrams, PhD, and recent Harvard Bell Fellow Lindsay Kobayashi, PhD, along with a colleague, have published their findings which reveal that workers who lost their jobs (more commonly associated with those who were under age 65 and those with less than a college degree), were furloughed, or experienced a reduction in hours suffered from increased loneliness and depressive symptoms, whereas…

Combatting mental distress by shoring up resilience during COVID-19 pandemic

Headshot of Leslie Adams

A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders by our recent Bell Fellow Leslie Adams, PhD, and her colleagues takes a longitudinal look (with baseline and nine waves of follow-up data from March through August, 2020) at the relationship between resilience and mental distress in 6,008 participants in the Understanding America Study. “Adults living below the poverty line were less likely to report high resilience . . . participants…

Why is the proportion of deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes far less in Japan than in U.S.?

Head shot of Ichiro Kawachi

Ichiro Kawachi, MBChB, PhD, and his colleague Kazuhiro Abe, MD, PhD have written an op-ed in JAMA Health Forum that suggests that differences in standards of care and financing may be partially responsible for what appears to be differing infection rates between nursing homes in Japan and the U.S.