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Monday, February 6th, 2023

McGill University researchers create real-time, online COVID-19 vaccine development tracker

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Researchers from McGill University are tracking the global race for a COVID-19 vaccine with a new online tool that tracks real-time progress on the development of the more than 50 candidates currently in human trials.

“Our goal with the vaccine tracker is to help the public find and access reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines, improve understanding about the vaccine testing process, and manage expectations about when a vaccine may be available,” Nicole Basta, an associate professor in the McGill Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, said.

The tracker updates weekly, providing each vaccine candidate with its own card, complete with an infographic. The infographic charts whether a vaccine is in phase one, two, or three clinical trials or has been approved. It also offers insight into its developed, countries involved, and vaccine type. Additionally, a color-coded map provides a visual update of the number of vaccine candidates, registered vaccine trials, and the highest trial stage for each country.

Basta hopes this will raise standards of transparency in the regulatory process surrounding vaccines.

The effort is also interactive, in the sense that users from any country can submit questions about these COVID-19 vaccines. A community immunity tool also allows these users to simulate the spread of an imaginary disease, then see how vaccines can protect the community. For this, they can adjust the percentage of populations being vaccinated and pursue different scenarios.