Real-Time Prediction of COVID Vaccines

Real-time prediction of COVID vaccines

The first real-time prediction of COVID Vaccines has been created by a team of researchers in Hong Kong. I was lucky to talk to one of the lead researchers, Professor Maggie Wang, on my Causes or Cures Podcast. Obviously, durability of COVID vaccines and how well they work against, what seems like, an endless army of variants, are pressing pubic health issues. Then I read a study in Nature about a system that was created to predict the effectiveness of COVID vaccines in real-time, so I had to investigate more.

The podcast is based on her and her team’s work published in Nature Medicine in June of  2022.  The platform has the potential to be used for other vaccines too, so it’s not just a “COVID” thing.

In the podcast, Professor Wang will discuss the research behind the platform, how vaccine effectiveness relates to “genetic distance” and what “genetic distance” is; how, when using the platform, the different COVID-19 vaccine platforms compare; why over 80% of variation in vaccine effectiveness is due to the genetic distance measure; how the platform can predict vaccine effectiveness by vaccine type and geopgraphical area; reverse vaccinology, and the larger, practical implications of this real-time platform.

Professor Wang is founder and director of BethBio, a biotech company located in Hong Kong that focuses on vaccine development and translating frontier research results into vaccine technologies. She is also the Co-Director of the Master of Science Program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Review Editor for Human Genetics.

To listen to the  Causes or Cures episode Real-Time Prediction of COVID vaccines, please click here. 

As always, thanks for your support with the podcast. Someone asked me the other day if the podcast is completely independent. I wasn’t sure what that meant. When I use the word “independent” podcast, I mean one that is not associated with any large, well-known organization or company. I find guests myself, reach out to them myself, research and write the questions, schedule, record and edit the audio and then, finally, post it on the hosting site for you guys to hear.  If by “independent” you mean if there is a financial interest tied to the podcast, the answer is no. I have not made any money from the podcast. And, honestly, I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, because it takes a lot of my time to plan and produce episodes that I think will be worthwhile. The episodes are ad-free right now. There is an option in Buzzsprout (where I happily host the podcast) to insert ads, straight from Buzzsprout, but when I listen to the episodes with the ads, they irritate me. The ads get inserted randomly by Buzzsprout and they don’t flow right, in my opinion. Anyhow, we’ll see. But that’s 100% transparency for you guys. I’ve made no money off of the podcast, but it eats up a lot of my time and is growing, so maybe I should think about how I could monetize it in a not-so-annoying way. ;) We’ll see. For now, I hope you enjoy listening to the episodes.

In addition to the first real-time prediction of COVID vaccines, also consider checking out the following podcasts:

A Nasal Spray for COVID in the Works

Read my book Manic Kingdom here!

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