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, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine and Director of the Institute for Evidence Based Healthcare, Bond University, Australia.
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).