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To assess reasons for noncompliance with COVID-19 vaccination among healthcare workers (HCWs).
Cohort observational and surveillance study.
Sheba Medical Center, a 1,600-bed tertiary-care medical center in Israel.
The study included 10,888 HCWs including all employees, students, and volunteers.
The BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was offered to all HCWs of the hospital. Noncompliance was assessed, and pre-rollout and post-rollout surveys were conducted. Data regarding uptake of the vaccine as well as demographic data and compliance with prior influenza vaccination were collected, and 2 surveys were distributed. The survey before the rollout pertained to the intention to receive the vaccine, and the survey after the rollout pertained to all unvaccinated HCWs regarding causes of hesitancy.
In the pre-rollout survey, 1,673 (47%) of 3,563 HCWs declared their intent to receive the vaccine. Overall, 8,108 (79%) HCWs received the COVID-19 vaccine within 40 days of rollout. In a multivariate logistic regression model, the factors that were significant predictors of vaccine uptake were male sex, age 40–59 years, occupation (paramedical professionals and doctors), high socioeconomic level, and compliance with flu vaccine. Among 425 unvaccinated HCWs who answered the second survey, the most common cause for hesitancy was the risk during pregnancy (31%).
Although vaccine uptake among HCWs was higher than expected, relatively low uptake was observed among young women and those from lower socioeconomic levels and educational backgrounds. Concerns regarding vaccine safety during pregnancy were common and more data about vaccine safety, especially during pregnancy, might improve compliance.
Nosocomial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks among health care workers have been scarcely reported so far. This report presents the results of an epidemiologic and molecular investigation of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak among laundromat facility workers in a large tertiary centre in Israel. Following the first three reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 among laundromat workers, all 49 laundromat personnel were screened by qRT-PCR tests using naso- and oropharingeal swabs. Epidemiologic investigations included questionnaires, interviews and observations of the laundromat facility. Eleven viral RNA samples were then sequenced, and a phylogenetic analysis was performed using MEGAX.
The integrated investigation defined three genetic clusters and helped identify the index cases and the assumed routes of transmission. It was then deduced that shared commute and public showers played a role in SARS-CoV-2 transmission in this outbreak, in addition to improper PPE use and social gatherings (such as social eating and drinking). In this study, we present an integrated epidemiologic and molecular investigation may help detect the routes of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, emphasising such routes that are less frequently discussed. Our work reinforces the notion that person-to-person transmission is more likely to cause infections than environmental contamination (e.g. from handling dirty laundry).
Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) outbreaks are mostly attributed to patient-to-patient transmission via healthcare workers.
We describe successful containment of a prolonged OXA-48–producing S. marcescens outbreak after recognizing the sink traps as the source of transmission.
The Sheba Medical Center intensive care unit (ICU), contains 16 single-bed, semi-closed rooms. Active CPE surveillance includes twice-weekly rectal screening of all patients. A case was defined as a patient detected with OXA-48 CPE >72 hours after admission. A root-cause analysis was used to investigate the outbreak. All samples were inoculated on chrom-agar CRE, and carbapenemase genes were detected using commercial molecular Xpert-Carba-R. Environmental and patient S. marcescens isolates were characterized using PFGE.
From January 2016 to May 2017, 32 OXA-48 CPE cases were detected, and 81% of these were S. marcescens. A single clone was the cause of all but the first 2 cases. The common factor in all cases was the use of relatively large amounts of tap water. The outbreak clone was detected in 2 sink outlets and 16 sink traps. In addition to routine strict infection control measures, measures taken to contain the outbreak included (1) various sink decontamination efforts, which eliminated the bacteria from the sink drains only temporarily and (2) educational intervention that engaged the ICU team and lead to high adherence to ‘sink-contamination prevention guidelines.’ No additional cases were detected for 12 months.
Despite persistence of the outbreak clones in the environmental reservoir for 1 year, the outbreak was rapidly and successfully contained. Addressing sink traps as hidden reservoirs played a major role in the intervention.
The legal concept of ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) was unknown in Israeli law until 1999 when, in the course of a well-known legal decision (the Kuzli case), the Israeli Supreme Court adopted this common law concept as part of Israeli law. Almost fifteen years have elapsed since the legal precedent set in Kuzli, during which time the criteria for participation as an amicus curiae have been established.
The aim of this study was to empirically explore and analyse the ways in which the procedural institution of amicus curiae has been used and adopted under Israeli law, and the extent to which it has influenced judicial decisions. The study has used empirical methods, including the collection of quantitative data from computerised databases in Israel concerning cases in which an application to be recognised as an amicus curiae was made.
The main findings indicate that, over the last decade, the number of applications for recognition as an amicus curiae has grown steadily. Most of these applications were made by non-governmental organisations in attempting to support private individuals engaged in legal proceedings against the state or for-profit corporations. The findings reveal that the courts have approved most of these applications.
The recent emergence of carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae is a major threat for hospitalized patients, and effective strategies are needed.
To assess the effect of an intensified intervention, which included active surveillance, on the incidence of infection with carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Sheba Medical Center, a 1,600-bed tertiary care teaching hospital in Tel Hashomer, Israel.
The medical records of all the patients who acquired a carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection during 2006 were reviewed. An intensified intervention was initiated in May 2007. In addition to contact precautions, active surveillance was initiated in high-risk units. The incidence of clinical carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection over time was measured, and interrupted time-series analysis was performed.
The incidence of clinical carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection increased 6.42-fold from the first quarter of 2006 up to the initiation of the intervention. In 2006, of the 120 patients whose clinical microbiologic culture results were positive for carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae, 67 (56%) developed a nosocomial infection. During the intervention period, the rate of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae rectal colonization was 9%. Of the 390 patients with carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae colonization or infection, 204 (52%) were identified by screening cultures. There were a total of 12,391 days of contact precautions, and of these, 4,713 (38%) were added as a result of active surveillance. After initiation of infection control measures, we observed a significant decrease in the incidence of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infection.
The use of active surveillance and contact precautions, as part of a multifactorial intervention, may be an effective strategy to decrease rates of nosocomial transmission of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae colonization or infection.
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