CDC Not Publishing Large Amounts of COVID-19 Data

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released only a fraction of the data it has collected about the COVID-19 pandemic. New York Times, It is reported concerning several people familiar with the data. That CDC published information on the effectiveness of boosters for people under 65 two weeks ago, but did not provide data for people aged 18-49, the age group least likely to benefit from boosters because they are already well protected by the first two shots, Time said.

CDC newly established dashboard how much COVID bacteria have been found in wastewater, even though state and local agencies have been sending their own wastewater data to the CDC since the start of the pandemic, Time said. The appearance of COVID in wastewater could help health authorities predict outbreaks, scientists say.

Some outside health experts were stunned to learn that the CDC withheld information about COVID.

“We have been begging for this level of detail for two years,” said Jessica Malati Rivera, an epidemiologist, and member of the team that led the Covid tracking project Time. A more detailed picture would boost public confidence, she said.

Time said the withheld data could help local and state health authorities respond at different stages of the pandemic and better protect vulnerable populations. The lack of additional information on individuals aged 18 to 49 has forced federal health agencies to rely on data collected in Israel for booster recommendations, Time said.

When asked to comment, CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said the agency withheld some information “because, after all, she’s not ready for prime time yet.”

The CDC is prioritizing the accuracy of the information, she said, adding that the CDC fears the public may misinterpret some of the information.

Rivera rejected the idea that information should be withheld to avoid misinterpretation.

“We are much more at risk of misinterpreting data with a data vacuum than sharing data with proper science, communication, and caution,” she said.

Publication of data is also delayed due to bureaucratic procedures. The CDC must process information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House, as well as various departments of the CDC, prior to publication. Sometimes it is necessary to inform public authorities before the information is widely available.

Paul Offit, MD, a vaccine expert and advisor to the Food and Drug Administration, called for more openness.

“Tell the truth, present the data,” he said. “I have to believe that there is a way to explain these things so that people can understand them.”

The CDC has been repeatedly criticized for its lack of transparency. Last year, the CDC released information about breakthrough cases, but only when a person was sick enough to be hospitalized. People who were vaccinated who tested positive and isolated at home were not included in the count, raising questions about the effectiveness of the vaccines.

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