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EMJ COVID-19 monthly top five (June 2021)
  1. Rajesh Chatha1,
  2. Matthew Reed1,
  3. Harriet Jennings1,
  4. Aaron McClatchey1,
  5. Abdelrahman Shahin1,
  6. Camilla Williamson1,
  7. Brion McGowan2,
  8. Govind Oliver3
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Department, St John's Hospital, Livingston, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Emergency Department, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rajesh Chatha; rajesh.chatha{at}

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Edited by Govind Oliver on behalf of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) COVID-19 CPD team

Following from the successful ‘RCEM weekly top five’ series starting in April 2020, this is the eighth of a monthly format for Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ) readers. We have undertaken a focused search of the PubMed literature using a standardised COVID-19 search string. Our search between 1 and 31 May 2021 returned 2654 papers limited to human subjects and English language. We also searched high-impact journals for papers of interest.

Our team have narrowed down the most interesting, relevant and important of the papers and provided a critical snapshot of five of those we felt most deserved EMJ readers’ attention. Importantly, we have highlighted not only the main findings from the papers but also key limitations and considerations for EM clinicians when interpreting the work. In doing so, we have created an accessible window into pertinent research findings for our busy colleagues during this fast-paced and ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.

The papers are ranked in one of three categories, allowing you to focus on the papers that are most vital to your practice:

  • Worth a peek—interesting, but not yet ready for prime time.

  • Head turner—new concepts.

  • Game changer—this paper could/should change practice.

This month’s searches were undertaken by the Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh based at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. We look forward to next month’s instalment from the team back in Manchester with a change in direction for the Journal Update as we expand to include studies beyond COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccine coverage in healthcare workers in England and effectiveness of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine against infection (siren): a prospective, multicentre, cohort study

Topic: prevention

Rating: game changer

Vaccine platform efficacy remains at the core of public health policy with figures ranging between 62.1% and 95% in large-scale phase III trials, depending on the vaccine and population.1–7

The SIREN study, a UK healthcare worker cohort study, assessed the early effectiveness of vaccination against infection over the initial 8-week period following vaccination. Participants underwent …

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  • Correction notice This paper was published wth an error. The author name Brian should be listed as Brion.

  • Contributors All authors assisted in the searches, and the writing of the manuscript in accordance with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.