American women, who traditionally make most of the healthcare decisions in their families, are more wary than men of the new, rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, presenting a potential challenge to efforts to immunize the public. The Dec. 2-8 national opinion survey showed that 35% of women said they were “not very” or “not at all” interested in getting a vaccine, an increase of 9 points from a similar poll conducted in May when vaccines were still being developed.
Some 55% of women said they were “very” or “somewhat” interested in getting vaccinated, a drop of about 6 percentage points in the same time span. Meanwhile, 68% of men said they would get vaccinated, which is unchanged from May.Overall, 61% of Americans said in December that they are open to getting vaccinated – a 4 point decline since the May poll. The latest survey also recorded a sharp drop in the number of parents willing to give their children the vaccine – 53% versus 62% in May.
Roche Launches High-Throughput COVID-19 Antigen Test in Europe
Roche has begun to roll out its high-throughput antigen test for COVID-19 across Europe, with plans to ramp up production to “a double-digit million number of tests per month” to help meet international demands by early next year. The company received a CE Mark for the automated laboratory diagnostic it first announced in mid-October, which is designed to relieve some of the burden on molecular-based tests that have served as the gold standard for detecting active coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic.The Elecsys antigen test uses deep nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab samples collected by healthcare professionals, similar to PCR diagnostics, and clinical studies have shown a 5.5% rate of false-negative results and a false-positive rate of 0.1%, according to Roche.
The test runs on the company’s cobase immunochemistry analyzers, at up to 300 tests per hour. The company has also filed the diagnostic for review with the FDA.Roche previously launched an antigen test designed to deliver individual results at the point of care within 15 minutes. In September, it outlined plans to begin shipping 40 million of those tests to Europe, before increasing production to about 80 million per month by the end of this year.