Breakthrough Covid-19: New tool identifies people at risk


ACCORDING to a new study, although very few post-vaccination deaths or hospitalizations occurred in the United Kingdom, several groups were at higher risk than others.

A new tool identifies people at highest risk of severe outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

The hope is that this information allows healthcare professionals and patients alike to make better-informed decisions regarding Covid-19 strategies.

Before the availability of vaccines, experts in the U.K. developed the QCOVID risk assessment tool to identify those with the highest risk of dying or being hospitalized with Covid-19.

The tool resulted in the addition of 1.5 million people to the National Shielded Patient List and helped authorities prioritize vaccinations.

There remains, however, a residual risk of breakthrough infections for people who are fully or partially vaccinated.

To identify people most at risk of breakthrough infections, researchers from the University of Oxford in the U.K. have published a paper presenting an updated QCOVID tool called QCOVID3.

The new QCOVID3 tool has identified several groups of vaccinated people who are at particular risk of dying or being hospitalized due to a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Paper co-author Dr. Julia Hippisley-Cox, a professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at the University of Oxford, explains:

“The U.K. was the first place to implement a vaccination program and has some of the best clinical research data in the world.

We have developed this new tool using the QResearch database to help the [National Health Service] identify which patients are at highest risk of serious outcomes despite vaccination for targeted intervention.”

Dr. Hippisley-Cox adds, “This new tool can also inform discussions between doctors and patients about the level of risk to aid shared decision making.”

The authors of the paper make clear that few vaccinated people have died or required hospitalization 14 days or more after vaccination.

This is presumably time enough for immunity to develop. Paper co-author Dr. Aziz Sheikh, a professor of primary care research and development and the director of the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K., says.

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