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1Day Sooner Releases COVID-19 Mortality Risk Model for Human Challenge Trial Volunteers

November 25, 2020 Coronavirus (Covid-19) No Comments Email Email

1Day Sooner, a non-profit advocating for volunteers who would be deliberately exposed to the coronavirus in a COVID-19 challenge trial, has released an interactive risk model that estimates the probability of deaths and hospitalizations for trial participants.

The model allows users to adjust the expected risks of mortality and hospitalization based on the age, pre-existing health level, and number of participants in a COVID-19 dosing study, the precursor of a full challenge trial. Analogous risks are displayed at the top of the model.

Notably, the model finds that even without adjusting for the enhanced medical monitoring and treatment which a trial would involve, the mortality risk for a healthy challenge trial volunteer aged 20-29— around 1 in 10,000— is half the mortality risk of liposuction, a third of living kidney donation, and five hundred times lower than venturing into space as an astronaut.

The model is based on a new, not-yet-peer reviewed preprint, authored by 1Day Sooner’s research team, that synthesizes data from multiple publicly available studies of the infection fatality ratio of COVID-19 for different populations.

“We used a Bayesian meta-analysis to estimate mortality risk by age, then built a model to simulate challenge trials and a dashboard to show how the estimated individual risk would inform the overall risks in a study,” noted David Manheim, corresponding author of the paper. “We hope these estimates and the dashboard will help to inform the public and policymakers about the relative and absolute risk of a dosing study.”

“Fully informed consent requires not only accurately disclosing risks to potential study participants but also, more importantly, their comprehension of those risks, including the fact that some remain uncertain,” said Nir Eyal, Director of the Center for Population-Level Bioethics at Rutgers University and 1Day advisory board member. “1Day Sooner’s interactive model would facilitate both, in a user-friendly way. It will give people who consider volunteering, as well as scholars and decision-makers, the latest information on COVID19 challenge trial risks, including the uncertainty ranges surrounding some.”

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