U.S. COVID-19 data has never been good enough

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When American experts first began to worry that COVID-19 vaccines did not work quite as well against delta as against previous coronavirus strains, they did not have much domestic knowledge. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control collected data on post-vaccination COVID-19 cases only if they resulted in hospitalization or death. did not follow the big picture In people vaccinated with COVID-19. Only a few states and counties collected and published this information.

The CDC carried out an analysis but did not share information quickly, frustrating experts who hoped for a more dynamic picture of how the delta variant affected vaccinated people. The agency finally released some information this week as part of the rationale for transferring booster doses of COVID-19, but the scope was still limited and came too late.

“It is not acceptable how long it takes to obtain this information,” a senior CDC official said Washington Post. Most U.S. experts had to resort to vaccine data from other countries: Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Data, or lack thereof, has been one of the biggest challenges in the U.S. COVID-19 response. From the early stages of the epidemic, health departments are fought with data collection cases and often only delayed and incomplete information. Most clinical trials investigating COVID-19 disease treatments were small and unable to give definitive answers.

Part of the problem was that the United States has a fragmented public health system and data is collected from individual hospitals. Places with national health systems, such as the United Kingdom, were able to understand larger trends during a pandemic — its national health service was able to organize multi-site clinical trial look at COVID-19 treatments that eventually identified treatments that saved lives.

More than 18 months later, the problems in the United States continue. Officials do not understand where and how COVID-19 is spreading in certain groups, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb outlined. On Twitter. The CDC is not ready to collect real-time data, he notes. It limits the country’s reaction.

Now, these problems make it difficult to understand the dynamics of coronavirus infections in people vaccinated with the delta variant in the United States. Delta has been the dominant coronavirus variant in the United States for only about two months, so it may take some time for the models to appear. But officials are moving forward with efficiency plans based only on the scarce knowledge they now have. Hopefully the information will eventually match their actions.

Here’s what else happened this week.

Research

The U.S. authorities ’decision to boost Covid-19 confuses — and upsets — some researchers
Many experts say that the available data on the effectiveness of the vaccine do not support the decision to offer effects to everyone. The shots are still very resistant to serious illness. (Helen Branswell / Stat News)

Infants and young children spread the virus more easily in their homes than teenagers, according to research
Young children who cannot be isolated as ill are more likely to transmit COVID-19 to other residents in their household. (Emily Anthes / The New York Times)

The rise of the delta is being fueled by the general spread from people who are doing well
The virus begins to accumulate about two days before people begin to show symptoms of COVID-19. Most infections occur in the pre-symptomatic phase, making it difficult to stop the spread. (Smriti Mallapaty / Nature)

Development

COVID-19 booster doses will be offered to Americans in September, the Biden administration says
Prior to signing by the FDA and CDC, federal officials plan to begin offering effects to health care workers, nursing home residents, and others who received the first shots at the earliest. (Nicole Wetsman / Limit)

What is safe to do during the summer Covid wave? STAT asked public health experts about their plans
Most of the experts surveyed say they don’t go to the movies or eat indoors at a restaurant, but cut their hair while wearing the mask. (Helen Branswell / Stat News)

Israel’s grim warning: Vaccination obscures but does not defeat the Delta
Vaccines continue to work in Israel, but the number of people vaccinated with serious COVID-19 cases raises concerns about the deteriorating protection of vulnerable populations. (Meredith Wadman / Science)

Perspectives

“When they started talking about the coronavirus, I was like,‘ Okay, we’re creating a vaccine, it’s in high demand, and Montana doesn’t have much access … I hate Say it, but I literally used the covid-19 attack to open up and move on. “

– Kyle Austin, traveling pharmacy, is the only person offering Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 in some parts of Montana.

More than numbers

For the people who have received 4.5 billion doses of the vaccine so far – thank you.

Globally, for more than 209,804,195 people who have passed the positive test, your recovery can be smooth.

For the families and friends of more than 4,400,048 people who have died worldwide – 624,832 living in the United States – your loved ones will not be forgotten.

Stay safe, everyone.

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