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It’s Time for the CDC to Pivot on COVID Testing

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Public Advisor
Marty Makary, MD, is a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Carey School. He also has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine and is Editor-in-Chief of Medpage Today. In 2022, Dr. Makary became the Chair of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Medical Advisory Team.

Quarantining and testing for COVID should be limited to those who are around high-risk individuals

For many high-risk Americans, it’s hard to get a COVID test. Meanwhile, millions of tests are being used on the lowest-risk population on earth—immunized, young, healthy students. 

At Princeton University, students get tested twice a week – three times if they play a sport. The hyper-testing isn’t just in the Ivy League. It’s rampant at many of the more than 1,000 U.S. colleges where vaccination is mandatory. This excessive consumption doesn’t just make it harder for others to find a test. It drives a secondary market where price gouging is common. 

The risk of being hospitalized for all fully vaccinated Americans is 1 in 26,000 for the week ending in Nov. 27. And that risk is much, much lower for young students. One analysis of breakthrough infections by age found that the average age of a vaccinated person being hospitalized is 72 years. So why are using so many tests on the lowest risk segment of our population? 

The CDC has not helped with the dilemma caused by a shortage of tests. It’s now caught up in a public deliberation about whether you need one or two negative antigen tests or one negative PCR test in order to come out of quarantine. But someone should ask: Why are we even quarantining immune people who are around other immune people? Quarantining and testing should be limited to those who are around high-risk individuals, such as nursing home staff.

Reade the full article at Fox News.

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