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CDC to update its confusing guidance about testing people without Covid-19 symptoms, Redfield says

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield holds up a CDC document while he speaks at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee reviewing coronavirus response efforts on September 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

From CNN's Maggie Fox

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to “clarify” confusing and controversial changes made to its guidance about testing people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday.

The site was changed on Aug. 24 to say: “If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one. ” 

Redfield said the agency would post new guidance updating those changes, which were broadly denounced by public health experts.

Note: These numbers were released by Florida’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project   

Federal documents released Wednesday provide new details about the government’s plan to distribute Covid-19 vaccines for free once approved or authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration.

A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine distribution playbook says that for planning purposes, state and local health agencies should assume “limited COVID-19 vaccine doses may be available by early November 2020” if a vaccine is authorized or licensed by the FDA, but the supply may increase substantially in 2021.

Paul Ostrowski from Operation Warp Speed said during the briefing Wednesday that databases to track vaccines already exist at state and pharmacy levels.

“The hard part is being able to get the databases to talk with one another,” he said, for example, so that he could get a vaccine at a public health center and then get the correct second dose weeks later, perhaps at a pharmacy in a different location.

“The federal government is procuring hundreds of millions of doses of safe and effective vaccines, and has contracted with McKesson for purposes of vaccine distribution, such that no American will be charged for either the COVID-19 vaccine or its distribution,” the strategy document says.

The strategy document says an information campaign led by HHS public affairs “will focus on vaccine safety and efficacy, and target key populations and communities to ensure maximum vaccine acceptance. ” 

Wearing a face mask might provide better protection against Covid-19 than a vaccine, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during Wednesday's Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday that he thinks it will be the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021 before a Covid-19 vaccine is generally available to the American public.

When asked when he thought there would be a vaccine ready to administer to the American public, Redfield said he thought that there would be vaccine initially available sometime between November and December, but “very limited supply and will have to be prioritized. ” 

Redfield said that he thought the vaccination would begin in November and December “and then will pick up, and it will be in a prioritized way.

“Broadly, we were not ready for the demand,” he told CNN about pandemic preparedness at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

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