A COVID-19 risk calculator that allows people to assess their chances of catching coronavirus and dying from it, based on their age, gender, vaccination status, and community spread, has launched today.

University of Queensland virologist Kirsty Short said the online tool was designed to help people make informed decisions around COVID-19 vaccination given their personal circumstances and to gauge their likelihood of infection based on different transmission scenarios.

“You can also find out your chance of developing an atypical blood clot from the AstraZeneca vaccine and see this data in the context of other relatable risks – like getting struck by lightning or winning OzLotto.”

Calculator in the pilot stage

Dr Short, one of the research leaders who developed CoRiCal, said it was still in its pilot stage, giving a risk-benefit assessment based only on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr Short said the researchers planned to update the calculator to account for a person’s pre-existing medication conditions, such as obesity and diabetes – both known susceptibility risk factors for developing severe COVID-19.

Eventually, the hope is the tool will also assess a person’s chances of developing Long COVID – when patients have long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and brain fog

“I think this is a really important consideration that people need to make, especially for younger individuals who may not be at high risk of dying if they get COVID-19, but Long COVID is a real threat and it’s not something that anyone wants to have,” Dr Short said.

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