Suppression of epidemics cannot rely solely on the hope of effective vaccines and/or medical treatment: we need a "Plan B" of effective behavioural, environmental, social and systems interventions (BESSI) to reduce transmission.
Given the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be around to at least mid-2021 (potentially followed by seasonal outbreaks) - even if a vaccine or effective treatments are developed - it is imperative to address BESSI evidence gaps now and to develop longer-term research priorities and processes to improve evidence about BESSInterventions to prevent and manage future infectious disease outbreaks.
To achieve this, a collaboration of global experts with relevant experience in a wide range of disciplines and sectors need to be brought together to address the problem from a BESSI perspective.
Plans for the coalition are current being developed by:
Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London, UK. She is a member of Independent SAGE.
Jeremy Grimshaw, Senior Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. He is a co-chair of COVID-END.
Paul Glasziou AO, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine and Director of the Institute for Evidence Based Healthcare, Bond University, Australia.
Mareike Schomerus, Vice President Delivery, BUSARA Center, Nairobi
Atle Fretheim, Director, Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
We have a JISCmail email list of those interested in discussions on BESSI research. You can sign up at: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=BESSI&A=1
BESSI Research Strategy
We aim to foster research synthesis, prioritization, piloting, and field trials in collaboration with health organisations, policy makers, communities, and a range of researchers relevant to BESSI (so Figure below).