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MIT machine learning models find gaps in coverage by Moderna, Pfizer, other Warp Speed COVID-19 vaccines

ZDNet – “Vaccines to block COVID-19 that are in development by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and others, and that are currently in Phase III clinical trials, may not do as well covering people of Black or Asian genetic ancestry as they do for white people, a study released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicated. The study was published Thursday in the scholarly journal Cell Systems. “There are obviously many other factors to consider, but our preliminary results suggest that, on average, people of Black or Asian ancestry could have a slightly increased risk of vaccine ineffectiveness,” one of the authors of the report, David K. Gifford, who is with MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), said in a press release issued by MIT. The report, entitled “Predicted Cellular Immunity Population Coverage Gaps for SARS-CoV-2 Subunit Vaccines and their Augmentation by Compact Peptide Sets,” had originally been posted on the Bioarxiv pre-print server. Enthusiasm has surged in recent weeks as Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca all announced initial results from Phase III trials in human patients that showed surprisingly powerful rates of immunity, with tests subjects given the drugs being 94% to 95% less likely than people given a placebo to contract COVID-19. Those three vaccine efforts are only the most prominent in a vast array of efforts. There are fifty-one vaccines in clinical trials in total, according to the World Health Organization. There are another one hundred and sixty-three vaccines in a pre-clinical stage of evaluation…”

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