In Australia, researchers have developed a tool that will determine a person’s risk of developing COVID-19 and complications from vaccines.
The non-profit Immunization Coalition worked with the University of Queensland, Flinders University, La Trobe University, and the Queensland University of Technology to develop the COVID-19 Risk Calculator (CoRiCal) tool.
WHAT IT DOES
Users only need to enter their age, gender, community transmission and vaccination status into the online tool to receive their personalized risk calculation. This calculation is based on a modeling framework developed by Professor Colleen Lau and Dr. Helen Mayfield from the UQ School of Public Health and QUT Prof. Kerrie Mengersen.
The UQ virologist Dr. Kirsty Short explained that, for example, users can learn about the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 versus their likelihood of dying from the disease.
You can also find out their risk of developing an atypical blood clot with any vaccine and compare that to other assignable risks like getting a lightning strike or winning the lottery, she added.
The tool is currently in the pilot phase and will be updated according to the latest health and scientific advice, including risk assessments on Pfizer and Modern vaccines, pre-existing medical conditions such as obesity and diabetes, and long-term COVID.
Dr. Andrew Baird, a Melbourne-based family doctor, added that the calculator is customizable for “booster doses, new strains of virus, new vaccines, younger age groups, international markets and even other infectious diseases”.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
According to Dr. Short, the CoRiCal was developed to help people make informed decisions about vaccinations. Using simple bar graphs, the calculator makes it easy to compare people’s risks for different outcomes related to COVID-19 and vaccines, Dr. Baird pointed out.
John Litt, of the Immunization Coalition, said he hoped the risk calculator would help GPs save time. “Family doctors spend a lot of time explaining the risks of COVID-19 and the different vaccines to their patients. An accurate, evidence-based tool that is transparent and independent of occupation should help GPs in their job of making COVID vaccination easier for their patients, ”he says.
A similar web-based tool was recently launched in Hong Kong by AI systems developer Deep Longevity. It is The COVID Risk Calculator estimates the survival of a hospitalized COVID-19 patient.
In India, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Australia-based QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has one Classification algorithm to determine whether a COVID-19 patient is likely to have severe symptoms.