Johns Hopkins University and the CDC have created a new tool that anyone can use to estimate individual risk of dying from Covid-19. This calculator factors in age, gender, pre-existing/underlying health conditions, body mass index (BMI), and even geography.
While there is perhaps something slightly morbid about the concept, it is actually pretty cool, for lack of a more medical term to describe the calculator. This is would probably have be a good method of deciding who should to be first in line for vaccination. Our current Phase 1 through Phase 4 strategy for distributing the vaccine does not appear to directly factor geography into the algorithm, which is likely due to the politics involved in decisions pertaining to health equities. But because there is an undeniable relationship between risk and geography, it is my opinion that Covid-19 could be subdued faster with a geographical approach that factors Covid hot-spots as an independent risk factor.
In summary, Phase 1 contains three sub-phases (a, b, and c). This effectively makes the vaccine distribution process spread out over 6 phases. Though I agree with the prioritization algorithm in general, I’d like to see geography taken into stronger consideration for risk stratification.
Here’s the Calculator, for those who dare to know their actual statistical risk of dying of Covid-19.
To read the science behind how the data were derived, click the following link.
As always, don’t hesitate to post questions or comments for the PAA community.
Justin Groode MD | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC