Covid-19 healthcare trends: Covid-19 leads Twitter mentions in Q4 2020
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Healthcare trends: Covid-19 leads Twitter mentions in Q4 2020

By GlobalData Healthcare 15 Jan 2021

Hospital Management lists the top five terms tweeted on Covid-19 healthcare in Q4 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

Healthcare trends: Covid-19 leads Twitter mentions in Q4 2020
Credit: siam.pukkato, Shutterstock.com.

Hospital Management lists the top five terms tweeted on Covid-19 healthcare in Q4 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Covid-19 – 32,434 mentions

Covid-19 related deaths in the US being higher compared to other countries and the rise in infections despite mask compliance were popularly discussed in Q4 2020. According to an article shared by Eric Topol, a cardiologist and scientist, one per 1,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 with total pandemic deaths amounting to 331,732 in the country.

The chart also found Covid-19 related deaths in four countries with a population of more than 20 million to be worse. The UK, for example, had one per 947 deaths and total pandemic deaths of 70,513, followed by Italy with one per 841 deaths and 71,620 total pandemic deaths, Spain with one per 945 deaths and 49,824 total pandemic deaths, and Peru with one per 869 deaths and 37,368 total pandemic deaths.

Topol added that had the rest of the world responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in the same way as the US, the number of total global pandemic deaths would have been more than 7.8 million instead of the current 1.7 million.

Covid-19 also trended in discussions shared by Dr David Samadi, a board-certified urologist, about how coronavirus cases were rampant despite US states adhering to mask policy. According to the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Mask Compliance Tracker, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC reported 97% mask compliance, while Miami and Philadelphia reported 96% and Chicago reported 95% compliance. Despite the high compliance rates, these areas are reporting coronavirus flare-ups and continuous symptoms of illness among people who are now being referred to as the ‘long-haulers’.

2. Vaccines – 7,175 mentions

Unfair distribution of vaccines in New York, Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine candidate receiving emergency use authorisation (EUA) and the reality of frontline doctors objecting to coronavirus vaccines, were popularly discussed in the fourth quarter. According to an article shared by Laurie Garrett, a science journalist and author, New York City (NYC) is witnessing unfairness as people have to wait till April or May to get the Covid-19 inoculation.

People in the rich suburbs have already received the coronavirus vaccine ahead of healthcare workers, first responders, and seniors living in long-term care facilities. Efforts to administer Covid-19 vaccines has been slow, with programmes such as Operation Warp Speed being sluggish. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11 million doses have been distributed as against 20 million scheduled to be administered by 01 January 2021. In addition, only 2.1 million people have been vaccinated in the US as against a population of 330 million.

The term also trended with respect to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee recommending EUA for Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine candidate BNT162b2 against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in its first interim efficacy analysis, among individuals who did not suffer from a prior infection.

Other discussions related to vaccines was shared by, Prof Peter Hotez, a scientist, paediatrician, and advocate, about how US citizens are not being forced to take a vaccine and frontline doctors have not objected to take vaccines. On the contrary, it was only the antivax campaigners who have been objecting to the vaccines, the influencer added.

3. SARS Cov2 – 3,111 mentions

The new UK SARS-CoV-2 variant being more contagious and how 38 years of HIV research has laid the foundation for Covid-19 vaccines against the SARS-Cov-2 virus were popularly discussed in Q4. According to an article shared by Muge Cevik, a physician and an infectious diseases researcher, the UK SARS-Cov-2 variant could be more dangerous implying that it may be more contagious than other variants.

Scientists identified the new variant, B.1.1.7 or VUI – 202012/01, in December 2020. The new variant looked different and acquired 17 mutations compared to its ancestors. Muge added that considerable misinformation is being circulated around the new variant and therefore understanding the true facts was important. She noted that although the new variant may be more transmissible, we do not know how much with absolute certainty.

SARS Cov2 also trended in discussions shared by Eric Topol about how scientific efforts directed towards getting a cure for AIDS helped scientists in developing a vaccine for coronavirus. AIDS has killed more than 33 million people, with 38 million people living with it. However, there is no vaccine for preventing or curing the disease mainly due to the complex pathogens that cause AIDS, the article noted.

HIV has an envelope protein, similar to coronavirus, that binds itself to receptors on the surface of cells, but in HIV it does not stay long enough for the immune system to respond to it, the article detailed.

4. Risk – 1,887 mentions

The risks associated with Covid-19 vaccines, high risk activities to be avoided during the health crisis and people with underlying conditions being at increased risk of severe illness from the SARS-Cov-2 virus were popularly discussed in Q4. According to an article shared by Helen Branswell, an infectious diseases and global health reporter at Stat News, both healthy middle-aged and young people are enquiring about the risks associated with the new Covid-19 vaccines.

Some people are also of the opinion that the risk from an experimental vaccine is more than the risks of a non-life-threatening illness. Consequently, many people remain apprehensive about the new vaccines.

The term also trended with high risk activities such as singing indoors to be avoided during the Covid-19 crisis, according to an article shared by Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. Approximately 30 out of 41 choir members got infected with the virus during an indoor rehearsal, the article noted.

Other discussions related to risk was shared by Laurie Garrett on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing a new guidance that people suffering with any underlying health condition to get vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine. The guidance also explained how any adult with underlying conditions is at an increased risk of developing complications caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 disease.

5. Infection – 1,834 mentions

Warnings issued by experts over coronavirus vaccines being more harmful than beneficial and the success of the mask mandate in reducing new Covid-19 infections were popularly discussed in the fourth quarter. According to an article shared by Dr Urso, a physician, some coronavirus vaccines could be more harmful than pertinent for fighting the Covid-19 infection.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also stated that rushing a coronavirus vaccine could lead to negative consequences that can eventually enhance the infection than defeat it.

Infection also trended with respect to countries such as Switzerland cutting down the coronavirus infection rate by half without having to impose lockdowns, according to Dr David Samadi. While all restaurants, gyms, and stores remained open through the pandemic, the country followed the mask mandate on public transit and also implemented a 11pm curfew on restaurants, the influencer tweeted.