“When trouble is sensed well in advance it can easily be remedied; if you wait for it to show itself any medicine will be too late because the disease will have become incurable. As the doctors say of a wasting disease, to start with it is easy to cure but difficult to diagnose; after a time, unless it has been diagnosed and treated at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. So it is in politics.”
- Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
The world has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic at the same time, however these responses have not necessarily been the same. This Special Issue, published in the Elsevier journal Health Policy and Technology in 2022, focuses on shifts in global health policy and the strategies that emerged following the introduction of effective vaccines for COVID-19. The issue contains 18 papers covering vaccination and policy issues across 25 different countries. This issue was made possible through the many contributions of VheP members and their peers, representing more than 40 different organisations.
Ayman Fouda (Management Center Innsbruck), Adrian Melia (University of Newcastle), Jonathan Tritter (Aston University), and VheP founder Francesco Paolucci (University of Newcastle, University of Bologna) were the guest editors who worked tirelessly to make this impressive achievement possible. Their editorial piece for the Special Issue, "The COVID-19 Pandemic: Vaccination Strategies and Global Health Policies" highlights the importance and timeliness of this issue and is highly recommended reading before diving in to the articles.
Health Policy and Technology (HPT) is the official journal of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, which focuses on past, present and future health policy and the role of technology in clinical and non-clinical national and international health environments. The aim of HPT is to publish relevant, timely and accessible articles and commentaries to support policy-makers, health professionals, health technology providers, patient groups and academics.
James Gillespie, John Buchanan, Carmen Huckel Schneider, and Francesco Paolucci examine vaccination deployment in Australia and the links between the strategies employed and the structure of the healthcare system.
Sergio I. Prada, Maria Paula Garcia-Garcia, and Javier Guzman analyse the Colombian vaccination strategy and policy response to the pandemic and highlight some of the positive and negative lessons learned.
Hanna Tiirinki, Marjaana Viita-aho, Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen, Markus Sovalac, Vesa Jormanainen, and Ilmo Keskimäki provide a synthesis of vaccination strategy and health policy measures, as well as economic challenges, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland.
Neha Purohit, Yashika Chugh, Pankaj Bahuguna, and Shankar Prinja present a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 related measures, largely centred around the development of vaccination related policies, their implementation and challenges faced in the vaccination drive in India.
Chiara Reno, Francesco Sanmarchi, Michael Stoto, Maria Pia Fantini, Jacopo Lenzi, and Davide Golinelli describe the impact of vaccine rollout and health policies on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy from March 2020 to October 2021 using a set of epidemiological indicators.
Ingunn Skjesol and Jonathan Tritter describe the evolution of the national vaccination programme in Norway and how changes in national policy informed by risk and equity shaped international vaccine debates, public trust and vaccine hesitancy.
Seunghyun Lewis Kwon and Juhwan Oh present an overview of South Korea's COVID-19 vaccination program and describes the key measures the country enacted to overcome the initial vaccine shortage and expand the vaccinated population.
Jeffrey Harris tests whether COVID-19 incidence and hospitalisation rates during the Delta surge were inversely related to vaccination coverage among the 112 most populous counties in the United States, comprising 44 percent of the country's total population.
Michelle Falkenbach and Charley Willison present an overview of the vaccination policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark, Canada, and the United States until September 1, 2021. The article seeks to understand the reasons for vaccination differences among high-income, liberal democracies.
Marcello Antonini, Marwa Atef Eid, Michelle Falkenbach, Sharona Tsadok Rosenbluth, Pablo Arija Prieto, Shuli Brammli-Greenberg, Peter McMeekin, and Francesco Paolucci present an overview of the vaccination campaigns in France, Israel, Italy, and Spain during the first eleven months from the first COVID-19 vaccine approval.
Zachary Desson, Lukas Kauer, Thomas Otten, Jan Willem Peters, and Francesco Paolucci present an overview of the procurement and deployment of COVID-19 vaccinations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) from the success of the first vaccine trials until the end of August 2021.
Jintao Zhang, Hao Yang, Mengying Yang, and Hao Tan critically review the development and implementation of COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore and China during the pandemic.
Chiara Berardi, Eun Su Lee, Heidi Wechtler, and Francesco Paolucci aim to document the impact of diversified vaccination strategies as a preventative and control measure for the health and safety of the wider population within a country.
Jeffrey Harris discusses how the failures of HIV vaccine development have taught us how adapt SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to immune escape from emerging variants, and whether recent advances in the development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 might in turn further the development of an HIV vaccine.
Joseph Amankwah-Amoah examines the drivers and consequences of proliferation of counterfeit (substandard and falsified) COVID-19 vaccines.
Janet Dzator, Alex Acheampong, Michael Dzator, Francesco Paolucci, Bruno Lule Yawe, Emmanuel Ekow Asmah, Francis Kwaw Andoh, Allen Kabagenyi, and James Gillespie examines the effect of government policy stringency and handwashing on total daily reported COVID-19 cases using a comprehensive dataset of 176 countries.