As of May 2021, nearly half of American adults have been at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. But that’s not the end of the story. Worldwide, 2 in 3 epidemiologists agree that viral mutations will render first-generation vaccines ineffective by 2022. 88% agreed that low vaccination rates in some countries would lead to the development of more vaccine-resistant strains.
The longer countries go without herd immunity, the more danger every citizen is in. 70% to 85% of a population must be vaccinated to achieve the goal of herd immunity. Some countries aren’t on track to reach this goal until 2023; by then, first generation vaccines may no longer be effective against the virus. To protect against the new virus, another round of mass vaccination would be required.
Given that COVID-19 and its variants are never going to completely disappear, understanding COVID-19 risk is a long term imperative. A wide variety of health conditions have been associated with increased risk of infection and severe diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions. Knowing one’s risk can help one return to normal life.
Precautions can be based on risk, ranging from the normal behaviors of handwashing by a majority of people to avoiding crowds and continuing social distancing for at-risk people. By encouraging everyone to do what they need to do to be safe, safety measures carry individual incentives, boosting compliance. Furthermore, as coronavirus continues to be the subject of medical study, additional therapies could be available to at-risk patients before they develop severe disease.
Beyond known illnesses, what other factors could increase a person’s risk of severe COVID-19? GeneType COVID-19’s Risk Test answers this question by considering 16 comorbidities and genetic markers, improving risk prediction by 25% over standard models. This at home kit gives people risk reports within days.