Extra 800,000 people to be prioritised for vaccine after use of ‘predictive risk’ technology

Written by Sam Trendall on 17 February 2021 in News
News

Government identifies additional cohort of at-risk people

Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

An additional 800,000 people will be prioritised for the coronavirus vaccination based on new technology that the government claims has provided a “predictive risk model”.

Under commission from England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty, the QCovid analytics model was developed by the University of Oxford and aims to identify risk factors for those most likely to suffer serious illness or death. The system has been “independently validated by the Office for National Statistics and is thought to be the only Covid-19 risk prediction model in the world to meet the highest standards of evidence and assurance”, according to the government.

“The technology analyses a combination of risk factors based on medical records, to assess whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood, helping clinicians provide vaccination more quickly to them and ensuring patients can benefit from additional advice and support,” it added.

The QCovid model can be used to assess risk based on various factors, and how they combine. This includes age, ethnicity, body mass index, and existing medical conditions and treatments.


Related content


Using the predictive system, NHS Digital assessed the population of England and identified 1.7 million people that are at greater risk from coronavirus than was previously known.

Just under half – 820,000 – of these are aged between 19 and 69 and have yet to be invited for their vaccination. They will now be prioritised for immunisation and, where deemed necessary, will be advised to shield themselves in the meantime. 

Letters are now being sent out to inform these people of the results of the research and advise on next steps, and GP surgeries have also been notified.

Deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries said: “For the first time, we are able to go even further in protecting the most vulnerable in our communities. This new model is a tribute to our health and technology researchers. 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.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Interview: How digital had 'a ringside seat' in Singapore's pandemic response
4 February 2021

The Singaporean government’s response to Covid-19 has made extensive use of digital, devices, and data – not always uncontroversially. PublicTechnology talks to Kok Ping Soon, the...

Ministers face calls for urgent action after Covid reveals ‘dangerous gaps in public data’
2 February 2021

Poor use and presentation of information means government has ‘missed chances to save lives’, according to report from Full Fact

 

Related Sponsored Articles

How digital is helping Defence Medical Services re-imagine HM Armed Forces healthcare
3 February 2021

Defence Medical Services (DMS) is pursuing ground-breaking digital, data and technology transformation which will revolutionise Tri-Service healthcare provision to over 135,000 Armed...

How Your Privacy Program is a Competitive Differentiator
29 January 2021

OneTrust presents the reasons why your organisation should invest in privacy management - and offers three easy tips for getting started 

Email security incidents happen every 12 hours – it’s time to close the gap in Microsoft 365
21 January 2021

The remote-first world has seen email being relied on more than ever as a core communication mechanism - but with 93% of IT leaders acknowledging a risk to sensitive data, what steps should be...