'New CUHK platform may help Covid vaccine design' - RTHK
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'New CUHK platform may help Covid vaccine design'

2022-07-14 HKT 14:55
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  • 'New CUHK platform may help Covid vaccine design'
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Thursday said they have developed the first ever real-time platform to predict the protective effects of different Covid-19 vaccines.

The platform feeds virus sequencing data through an algorithm which tells scientists how effective a vaccine is likely to be against emerging variants.

The algorithm, which is said to have a 95 percent prediction accuracy, can rapidly evaluate vaccine effectiveness by analysing genetic distance.

Professor Benny Zee of the university's faculty of medicine, who's also the director of the office of research and knowledge transfer services, said he believes the platform will facilitate vaccine design and healthcare policy-making.

"We could actually use this information to start preparing. We can put it in the algorithm and start evaluating which existing vaccine is more effective in terms of dealing with this mutated virus or sub-type," Zee said.

"We can also use this new information and start to find the most effective antigen in the vaccine to develop such vaccine and start the process of safety evaluation."

The researchers said the algorithm was developed based on around two million SARS-CoV-2 sequences, as well as 49 clinical trials and observational studies.

'New CUHK platform may help Covid vaccine design'