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In International journal of public health

Objectives: Real-time data analysis during a pandemic is crucial. This paper aims to introduce a novel interactive tool called Covid-Predictor-Tracker using several sources of COVID-19 data, which allows examining developments over time and across countries. Exemplified here by investigating relative effects of vaccination to non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 spread. Methods: We combine >100 indicators from the Global COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey, Johns Hopkins University, Our World in Data, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, National Centers for Environmental Information, and Eurostat using random forests, hierarchical clustering, and rank correlation to predict COVID-19 cases. Results: Between 2/2020 and 1/2022, we found among the non-pharmaceutical interventions "mask usage" to have strong effects after the percentage of people vaccinated at least once, followed by country-specific measures such as lock-downs. Countries with similar characteristics share ranks of infection predictors. Gender and age distribution, healthcare expenditures and cultural participation interact with restriction measures. Conclusion: Including time-aware machine learning models in COVID-19 infection dashboards allows to disentangle and rank predictors of COVID-19 cases per country to support policy evaluation. Our open-source tool can be updated daily with continuous data streams, and expanded as the pandemic evolves.

Balogh Aniko, Harman Anna, Kreuter Frauke


COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions, COVID-19 prediction, COVID-19 virus variants, comparative analyses, interactive visualization, machine learning, social epidemiology, time series cross-validation