Coronavirus (1207) J Clin Epidemiology - methodological challenges to studying the COVID-19 pandemic crisis (2)

31 March, 2021

While the JCE editorial is an interesting link, it reveals sub-text how much the scientific community is 'inside its own box'! In the last year the scientific community has established a new standard in terms of the present-system's info-sharing limitations.

not to detract from the most excellent work that has taken place, I think the main question is what has not made it into press that is worthwhile?

Most journals are swamped and most reviewer's, and the failure of top journals to be able to consider publications, and I quote a stock rejection letter foreclosing on review "have Covid burnout"...

So in this age of information overload and mis-information, has the pandemic established new info-age limitations !

For example, where would you find the paper under-pinning this abstract?

A population-based model for rationing Covid-19 vaccine


With the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the model presented in this paper may with reproduction based on COVID-19 as an endpoint diagnosis serve to assist the rationing of initially limited supplies of vaccine to those most vulnerable to infection, potentially helping to optimize curbing the spread of this disease.


As COVID-19 vaccines develop, methods for identifying vulnerability within groups to prioritized vaccination remain un-established. This paper presents a novel approach based on population-based analysis of viral pneumonia vulnerability, as an example.


The analysis employed an anonymous, 16-year, population dataset (n = 768,460) consisting of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) diagnoses, demographics, and dates identifying those with viral pneumonia and permitting linkage of these individuals to all their associated diagnoses for calculation of odds ratios and proportions of disorders before and after the index viral pneumonia diagnosis.


Females and males had results of differing magnitude. For those with viral pneumonia, the mean number of diagnoses was greater in both the subsample and whole sample, with associated diagnoses arising about 4 years on average before the viral pneumonia index diagnosis. Within the subsample, compared to those without, the temporal analysis revealed distinct over-representation for those with viral pneumonia at visit one and over the first fifty visits. Further, those with viral pneumonia had diagnoses not represented in the group without viral pneumonia.


The population-based analysis of temporal hyper-morbidity may be a viable and economical approach to identifying viral pneumonia vulnerability. The approach presented in this paper may provide an economical means of identifying vulnerability to COVID-19 in regions where comparable data are available for analysis. Rational approaches may optimized vaccination and help to limit the spread of the disease and to some extent alleviate the health service burden.

Best regards,


HIFA profile: David Cawthorpe is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, Canada. His professional interests include: Human Development, Developmental Psychopathology, and Delivery of low bandwidth medical education curriculum. cawthord AT