Digital Literature Table: COVID-19 (updated 2021)
Information for the General Public
Please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest updates on COVID-19 as well as tips for protecting your health.
Vaccines and Vaccination
Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine offers an overarching framework for vaccine allocation to assist policy makers in the domestic and global health communities. Built on widely accepted foundational principles and recognizing the distinctive characteristics of COVID-19, this report’s recommendations address the commitments needed to implement equitable allocation policies for COVID-19 vaccine.
This rapid expert consultation summarizes social, behavioral, and decision science research relevant to communicating how well COVID-19 vaccines work and how equitably they are being distributed. It offers practical strategies for both the process and the content of such communication, recognizing that people respond to both how they learn about something and what they learn about it.
Black and Latinx/Latino(a)/Hispanic members of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) came together to share an important message: The best way to bring our families and communities back together safely is to accept the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines and help ensure our family, friends, and neighbors are vaccinated as well. Hear these experts encourage both the Black and Latinx/Latino(a)/Hispanic communities across the nation to trust the science, research, and medicine these experts supported and conducted that led to the development of a safe and effective vaccine and the importance of protecting their loved ones.
While the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, novel influenza viruses continue to be a constant pandemic threat. These viruses, which could appear at any time, can lead to circumstances and ramifications similar to or worse than the current experiences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both domestic and global efforts, such as the U.S. National Influenza Vaccine Modernization Strategy 2020-2030 and the WHO Global Influenza Strategy 2019-2030, have called for the development of more effective influenza vaccines complemented by modern, adaptable manufacturing technologies that can scale production and meet demand during a pandemic.
Crisis Standards of Care
Hospitals across the United States must take immediate action to save lives and fairly allocate limited resources by implementing crisis standards of care (CSC). Hospitals are experiencing large surges in COVID-19 patients, and intensive care units are already over capacity in many areas. In response, hospitals are canceling admissions and procedures, augmenting staffing, transferring patients, even establishing and operating alternate care sites. But these actions may not be enough. There will come a point in the crisis when these adaptations cannot compensate for the overwhelming caseload. At this point, hospitals must shift to crisis standards of care. This means making unprecedented and agonizing decisions under great uncertainty in order to do the most good possible with limited resources. The tools and publications on this page are intended to help health care providers and public officials plan for the implementation of CSC.
In this discussion paper for health care planners and clinicians, the authors discuss the application of CSC principles to clinical care, including personal protective equipment, critical care, and outpatient and emergency department capacity challenges posed by a coronavirus or other major epidemic or pandemic event. Health care facilities should be developing tiered, proactive strategies using the best available clinical information and building on their existing surge capacity plans to optimize resource use in the event the current outbreak spreads and creates severe resource demands.
Revision of CSC doctrine is needed and should be a focus for health care institutions and local, state, and federal governments alike to ensure that the best care possible is delivered when the next disaster strikes. In the following sections, the authors discuss some key CSC domains as well as successes, issues, and action steps.
During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the U.S. healthcare system was overwhelmed and crisis standards of care had to be considered. A National Academies workshop series will re-explore the recommendations from the IOM’s 2009 “Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations: A Letter Report” and 2012 report “Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response” alongside ongoing lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on disaster planning, legal and equity considerations, and staffing considerations.
Health System Transformation
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the undeniable fractures and weaknesses it has exposed in the American health care system, the NAM has undertaken a sector-by-sector review of the health system, the weaknesses that existed prior to COVID-19, how the sector has responded to the pandemic, and opportunities for strengthening and transforming how the health system operates in America after COVID-19. These papers will include analysis of public health; care systems; research; health payers; clinicians; quality, safety, and standards organizations; health product manufacturers and innovators; patients, families, and communities; and digital health. The papers will be published in NAM Perspectives beginning in April 2021 and will subsequently be bundled and released, with a previously unpublished concluding chapter, as a NAM Special Publication in the Fall of 2021.
In this webinar, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) explored the role that a nationwide health data governance framework can have in accelerating evidence generation and mobilization for a continuously learning health system.
Participants will hear an assessment of digital tools being employed in COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and ensuring equity and access to telehealth and remote monitoring efforts across various communities in the United States. Reactors will offer a response on the strengths and limitations of these tools with respect to their efficacy, access, and uptake.
The High Level Independent Panel was asked by the G20 in January 2021 to propose how finance can be organized, systematically and sustainably, to reduce the world’s vulnerability to future pandemics.
The Panel’s Report provided COVID-19-informed, evidence-based principles that aim to offer forward-looking structural changes to prepare and respond to future global health emergencies. Key areas of the Panel’s report address global equitable access to supplies, research, and innovation; integrated disease surveillance and data-sharing; sustainable health; and more. To achieve these principles, the Panel emphasized the importance of sourcing and allocating appropriate funding to protect the world’s collective health.
On Monday, May 4, 2020, the European Commission hosted the Coronavirus Global Response International Pledging Event, an effort to raise €7.5 billion in initial funding to kick-start the global cooperation needed to develop and deploy effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
Ensuring Equitable Treatment During a Pandemic
Certain populations—African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and the elderly, to name a few—are bearing the brunt of infections and deaths. Conversations on COVID-19: Impacts on Communities of Color include conversations with experts on a variety of topics related to minority health and COVID-19, as well as information and resources from the National Academies on topics related to health equity.
Individuals experiencing addiction have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing protocols have separated patients from their clinicians, made medications to treat addiction much more challenging to obtain, and shuttered many long-term recovery groups. A new webinar series from the NAM and the American Society of Addiction Medicine will provide insight and targeted guidance on how to ensure that these individuals are cared for and protected during this ongoing public health crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to our nation and the world. Many are working tirelessly to protect the health and well-being of individuals with substance use disorders and/or who experience pain—patient populations who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or having their continuum of care seriously disrupted during this outbreak. The NAM Action Collaborative on Countering the US Opioid Epidemic compiled resources from government agencies, professional associations, and peer-reviewed journals that offer more information on how to support patients and the clinicians who treat and manage the care of patients with substance use disorder and/or who experience pain during public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 response.
As COVID-19 commands the attention of our nation, we face an extraordinary opportunity to advance health equity – a state where everyone in the United States is able to achieve their full health potential – by eliminating the structural barriers to good health for marginalized populations. Resources on health equity in the context of COVID-19, collected by the NAM’s Culture of Health Program, are available.
Protecting the Health Care Workforce
This webinar endeavors to identify the critical needs and priorities to support the well-being of clinicians, including those in their formative years of training, during the COVID-19 era and spotlight programs, resources, and leadership efforts currently underway to address and monitor the acute and long-term mental health and well-being of clinicians on the frontlines of COVID-19.
On August 20, 2020, the National Academy of Medicine hosted a free 90-minute webinar on Nursing’s Role in Health Equity, Public Health Emergencies, and COVID-19 – Critical Issues for The Future of Nursing 2020-2030. During the webinar, representatives from the NAM study on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 shared updates on the study’s status and sought public input on nurses’ roles in responding to COVID-19. A panel of experts also discussed how nursing can advance health equity, the role of nurses in public health emergencies, and nurses’ experiences on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, many clinicians already faced burnout, as well as stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even suicidality. Now this crisis is presenting clinicians with even greater workplace hardships and moral dilemmas that are very likely to exacerbate existing levels of burnout and related mental health problems. The NAM Action Collaborative on Clinician Resilience and Well-Being has assembled resources from global sources, U.S. federal agencies, and many more on how to support clinician well-being during this unprecedented time.
Cross-Cutting Activities, Programs, and Resources
In response to a request from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a standing committee of experts to help inform the federal government on critical science and policy issues related to COVID-19 and other infectious disease threats. The Standing Committee has issued a number of rapid expert consultations on critical issues like airborne transmission of the virus, crisis standards of care, and effectiveness of mask-wearing.
The series rapidly and regularly provides trustworthy scientific analysis of the latest COVID-19 developments for the benefit of policymakers, public health and health care officials, and the general public. The series is exploring the scientific basis for guidance issued by government, health and public health organizations, and industry, as well as answering questions that are top of mind for its audiences.
A comprehensive list of reports relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic or pandemics in general.
As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the nation and the world, the National Academies are rapidly mobilizing critical expertise in science, engineering, and medicine to inform government response and recovery efforts with evidence-based guidance, and are facilitating collaboration across research disciplines and between the public and private sectors.
Explore transportation-related resources related to COVID-19 from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Transportation Research Board.
As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, children and families are dealing with disrupted routines, virtual classrooms, social distancing, and uncertainties about the near future. Our publications can inform federal, state, and local policies and program development to reach out to at-risk families and enhance their resilience.