The CDC is known to collect and break down data pertaining to Covid-19 hospitalizations as per race, age, and vaccination status. It has been doing this for more than 365 days, but an interesting fact to know is that majority of this information is not publicized, as reported by The New York Times.
CDC not opening the Cards?
The health agency mentioned above published an exhaustive data 2 weeks back regarding effectiveness of booster dose in the adults aged 65 and below. However, it refrained from publishing hospitalization numbers for the ones aged between 18 and 49. Times has further speculated that this might have happened as numbers were pretty small. This age group could be ascertained of dual protection through 2 shots (as stated by various manufacturers of vaccines).
Certain states are into sharing wastewater data (which could be used for predicting upcoming surges in Covid-19) since the start of 2020, but CDC started posting this data only since the beginning of February 2022.
Numerous sources have informed The New York Times that only a fraction of data collected by the CDC has been published by it till date. As such, the authorities are compelled to rely on the data released by Israel for determining booster vaccines’ efficacy.
As per Kristen Norlund (spokeswoman for CDC), CDC has been quite slow in releasing data as it isn’t yet ready to be full-on on this count. Norlund has also asserted that CDC is hesitating to publish full-fledged data as people may misinterpret the vaccines to be ineffective. The other reason stated by her is that the data collected by CDC epitomizes merely 10% of the entire population. CDC has been using this methodology since many years for tracking influenza.
Dr. Daniel Jernigan, one of the health officials of the CDC, stated that the data systems of CDC are incapable to handle information related to pandemic. He has gone on records to mention that CDC needs better, quicker data that could result in effective decision-making and ultimately actions at every level of public health, which, in turn, would help them get away with this data lag. He was candid enough to accept that bureaucracy could also be a reason behind this lag.
Samuel Scarpino, Rockfeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute official, has highlighted that CDC’s various supervising agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the White House have to approve of data plans. Therefore, the scientists at CDC have to face certain things outside their control.
Re-defining the tem “Fully Vaccinated?”
Also, it’s high time that CDC as well as the US approve of natural immunity as one of the partial paths to protection. In other words, the CDC needs to re-define the term “fully vaccinated”. For the ones who have already been vaccinated for two shots without any prior infection need a booster (third) shot. Also, the fact that the ones with natural immunity and proof of positive PCR test are looked upon as “fully vaccinated” with just a single shot.