Scientists from the Oxford University in England have come up with a new risk-prediction model to identify people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. Termed as QCovid, the latest technology has been independently validated by the Office for National Statistics and is deemed as the only COVID-19 risk prediction model in the world to meet the "highest standards of evidence and assurance". According to the reports by PTI, over 800,000 adults will now be prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts. This is being done after combining several health and personal factors, such as age, ethnicity and body mass index and also few medical conditions.
Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England said, “For the first time, we are able to go even further in protecting the most vulnerable in our communities”. She further added, “The model's data-driven approach to medical risk assessment will help the NHS identify further individuals who may be at high risk from COVID-19 due to a combination of personal and health factors. This action ensures those most vulnerable to COVID-19 can benefit from both the protection that vaccines provide, and from enhanced advice, including shielding and support, if they choose it”.
There is enough evidence that the deadly coronavirus impacts certain age groups and ethnic minorities. This new technology helps in analyzing the combination of risk factors based on medical records. This further helps in assessing whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood. This way, the vaccine can be given more early to those who need it.
Lead researcher Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology said that QCovid has been developed using anonymised data from more than 8 million adults. This provides nuanced assessment of risk by taking into account a number of different factors that are cumulatively used to estimate risk including ethnicity. She added, “The research to develop and validate the model is published in the British Medical Journal along with the underlying model for transparency. This will be updated to take account of new information as the pandemic progresses”.