Local researchers develop calculator to assess your chance of getting Covid

A research team headed by a University of Queensland virologist has developed an online tool to advise people of their risk of contracting Covid-19.

Jan 12, 2022, updated Jan 12, 2022
University of Queensland virologist Kirsty Short. (Image: UQ)

University of Queensland virologist Kirsty Short. (Image: UQ)

The risk calculator takes into account a person’s age, sex, vaccination status and the amount of virus circulating in the community to assess how likely it is that someone will catch Covid-19.

UQ Professor Kirsty Short said the calculator had been recently updated so it could be used by people who had had either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines or no jab at all.

She said the aim of the tool was to encourage people to make informed decisions around vaccination by showing them how getting the jab dramatically reduces their chances of infection or death.

“Users can access the tool and input their age, sex, community transmission and vaccination status to find out their personalised calculation, Dr Short said.

“For example, you can find out your chance of being infected with Covid-19 versus your chance of dying from the disease.”

Co-developer UQ Professor of infectious disease epidemiology Colleen Lau said with the number of Covid cases on the rise the calculator – dubbed CoRiCal – would be vital in helping the public make informed decisions about their health.

“It will provide essential information as the community discusses the need for booster vaccinations,” she said.

“Importantly, the updated calculator takes into account the number of vaccine doses you have received, and time since the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, as we know that immunity wanes.”

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The calculator assessed that this writer had a one in 1400 chance of getting Covid-19 and a one in 7300 chance of dying from the virus.

The calculator is the result of collaboration between researchers at UQ, Queensland University of Technology, Flinders University and the Immunisation Coalition.

They hope to further develop the calculator to take into account pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes and inform younger people who would have a small risk of dying from the virus but may suffer from long Covid.



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