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Webinar “What Demographers Tell Us about the COVID-19 Pandemic” 16:00-18:00 Beijing Time (GMT 8:00-10:00, CET 9:00-11:00) Jan 13, 2021

Under the framework of the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis, the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University will hold a webinar around the topic of “What Demographers Tell Us about the COVID-19 Pandemic” at Beijing Time 16:00-18:00 (CET 9:00-11:00, GMT 8:00-10:00) on Jan 13, 2021. The webinar is free and open to all academics and students.

The purpose of the webinar is to understand the demographic aspects of COVID-19 and how researchers in demography contribute to the study on the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers are leading demographers who have been working on the topic related to COVID-19. Through this webinar, we hope researchers in demography can exchange ideas on the latest demographic research about COVID-19.

We cordially invite you to attend this webinar. This webinar will be conducted via Zoom on Jan 13, 2021. Please register through the link below to get meeting ID and password.

Webinar Details

Topic: What Demographers Tell Us about the COVID-19 Pandemic? Date: Beijing Time 16:00-18:00 (CET 9:00-11:00, GMT 8:00-10:00) on Jan 13, 2021 *Please join Zoom meeting room 5 minutes early in case of any connection issues.

Registration Link: Please register on https://zh.surveymonkey.com/r/DWC8ZGX. And we will send meeting ID & password to your email within 48 hours after your registration.


Introduction by Chair - Dr. Guillaume Marois

5 min

Welcome Note by Prof. Jiang Leiwen (Founding Director of  ADRI)

5 min

Dr. Jennifer Beam Dowd: Demographic insights into COVID-19: where do we go from here?

20 min

Dr. Tomáš Sobotka: From the first to the second wave: sex- and age-specific disparities in COVID-19 infections in Europe

20 min

Dr. Enrique Acosta: Indirect measures for adjusting COVID-19 demographic data

20 min

Dr. Samir KC: Identifying community COVID-19 vulnerability in India

20 min

Concluding Remarks by Chair - Dr. Guillaume Marois

5  min

Questions & Answers

25 min

Introduction to the Chair

Dr. Guillaume Marois

Guillaume Marois is a distinguished professor at the Asian Demographic Research Institute of the Shanghai University. He completed his PhD in demography at the National Institute for Scientific Research (Montreal). His main research interests include demographic projections, microsimulation, human capital, labor force participation, immigration and internal mobility.

Introduction to Guest Speakers and Topics

Dr. Jennifer Beam Dowd

Dr. Jennifer Beam Dowd is Associate Professor of Demography and Population Health at the University of Oxford and studies mortality trends and how social factors “get under the skin” to impact health, including via infections and immune function. She is also Deputy Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science at Oxford and received her PhD training in Demography and Economics from Princeton University with post-doctoral training in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar. She is currently researching social and demographic factors related to COVID-19, and is also part of an all-female team of PhD scientists interpreting COVID-19 science for a general audience at Dear Pandemic.

“Demographic insights into COVID-19: where do we go from here?”

Abstract: While epidemiology is certainly having a moment, demography has been key to understanding COVID-19 data since the early days of the pandemic. This talk will highlight demographic insights into COVID ranging from the intersection of population age structure and mortality to estimates of excess mortality and highlight the opportunities for demographers to contribute going forward.

Dr. Tomáš Sobotka

Tomáš Sobotka leads the research group Fertility and Family at the Vienna Institute of Demography / Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Human Global Capital. His research focuses on global low fertility and family changes, family policies, fertility data and measurement, migration, population and family change in Europe, and assisted reproduction.

“From the first to the second wave: sex- and age-specific disparities in COVID-19 infections in Europe”

Abstract: We analyse changing age and sex profiles in reported cases of COVID-19 in seven European countries (Belgium, Czechia, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and England) from the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak until November 2020. Among people of working age, women diagnosed with COVID-19 substantially outnumbered infected men in most countries and time periods. This pattern reverses around retirement age: the rates of confirmed cases among women fall at age 60-69, typically resulting in a cross-over with the rates of confirmed cases for men. The age profile was dominated by older ages in Spring (especially until April), then shifted towards younger ages over the Summer as the reported infection rates plummeted, partly due to the increase in testing capacity. Since the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic in September, the profile of confirmed COVID-19 cases has been gradually ageing again, suggesting that the vulnerable groups, including elderly in care homes and in hospitals, were being increasingly affected. The rise in overall infection rates coupled with their gradual shift to higher age groups since September have jointly contributed to a recent surge in COVID-19 mortality across Europe. The elevated rates in confirmed cases among women of working age are likely tied to their higher share in health- and care-related occupations, but they may also reflect different rates of testing by sex and age. To shed light on these options, we provide additional analysis and discussion on testing disparities by sex and age and on the evidence based on seroprevalence studies.

Dr. Enrique Acosta

Dr. Enrique Acosta is a research scientist at the Laboratory of Population Health at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. He holds a Ph.D. in demography from Université de Montréal. His work focuses on mortality, especially during influenza epidemics and pandemics, but also includes work on the age-period-cohort analysis of extrinsic mortality.

“Indirect measures for adjusting COVID-19 demographic data”

Abstract: Data by age and sex on COVID-19 infections and deaths is crucial for understanding and monitoring the pandemic's dynamic. The COVerAGE database project has collected and harmonized demographic data on COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths for more than 100 countries and 300 sub-national divisions. These data are subject to bias for different reasons and at different scales. Complementing the database with indirect measures to estimate all infections and deaths, among other possibilities, is a helpful resource that allows users to assess the available data's bias, make adjustments, and better inform analyses and strategies.

Dr. Samir KC

Samir KC is a founding member of and Professor at Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University. KC leads ADRI 's research pillar on Human Capital and Development. In parallel, KC has been working at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) since 2005 and currently leading a project on ‘Modelling Human Capital Formation’ at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, IIASA. KC is also a founding member of a new initiative in Nepal called "Digital Data Systems for Development".

“Identifying community COVID-19 vulnerability in India”

Abstract: Evidence from worldwide shows that older adults are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of COVID-19. Apart from their age, several social and biological factors increase the vulnerability of an elderly population. In this paper, we identified potential factors defining community vulnerability to COVID-19 for 640 districts of India based on demography (population size and gender), health status (the prevalence of co-morbidities), household facilities (rooms, basic water, sanitation, and hygiene), and human capital (education and media exposure). We used available data from the 2011 Census, nationally representative household surveys such as National Family Health Survey and National Sample Survey (NSS), and existing population projection for projecting population by age and sex from 2011 to 2020. The population of the elderly has increased since the 2011 census, especially in urban areas. Lack of sanitation and handwashing facilities compounded with congestion in homes makes it difficult to follow social distancing and maintain proper hygiene and sanitation. We find the western (Maharashtra and Gujarat), eastern (Bengal and Odisha), and the southern (Telangana and Andhra) regions are highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of COVID-19. Districts falling in highly vulnerable category posit potential risk of higher COVID-19 infections among the elderly. Identification of vulnerable areas at the lowest administrative level will help the government to define targeted interventions and campaigns and to be ready for the worst. We recommend empowering to the local-level governments to reach out to the vulnerable population through their vast network and protect communities.