Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned on Thursday that people receiving coronavirus vaccination should not immediately put down their guards and told CNBC that they should comply with public health measures such as wearing masks.
The former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that the recommendation is particularly important for elderly Americans who are at higher risk of death or serious illness from Covid-19.
Gottlieb said on the “Squawk Box”: “I think that for an elderly person who is vulnerable to this virus, you must wait for a while after the second shot, until you may have complete protection immunity. “I don̵
Both Covid vaccines that have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use require two doses. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech developed one of these vaccines, while Moderna produced the other. Gottlieb is a member of Pfizer’s board of directors.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Wednesday morning, approximately 10.3 million Americans had received their first Covid injection. About 29.4 million doses have been distributed.
As the country continues to see high levels of coronavirus infections and more Covid-19 deaths, the introduction of the vaccine falters. CNBC’s analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University showed that the country’s average daily number of new cases for seven days was 245,306. Last week, an average of 3,360 Americans died of Covid every day, the second highest on record.
Gottlieb said that vaccinators still need to take public health precautions because the epidemic in the United States is still so severe and “infection is everywhere.” “If you are a fragile individual, even if you have been vaccinated for the second time and think that you are fully immune to the vaccine, it is still very prudent to continue to wear a mask and take preventive measures.”
Gottlieb added: “This does not mean that you have to hibernate and avoid seeing your family.” Gottlieb, who served as the head of the FDA in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, added. Be extra careful in these interactions because you are still at risk in a highly popular environment. “
Gottlieb said that as more and more Americans are vaccinated, the overall infection rate in the United States should be reduced and the intensity of the epidemic should be greatly reduced. He said that by then, it would be wiser to “relax” some preventive measures.
He said: “If these new variants have no place in the United States and change our development trajectory, it will be summer, spring.” I believe it can spread.
Researchers in Ohio said on Wednesday that they had discovered two new variants that may have originated in the United States.
Last week, Gottlieb warned Americans that life before the pandemic is unlikely to happen in 2021. For example, he told CNBC that public places may still require people to take their temperature before entering.
He said last week: “I just think things will be different, just like when you pass through the airport now after 9/11.” “I don’t think if we can increase the vaccination rate and these new variants disappear. Or not popular, then there will be no mandatory requirement to wear masks next fall and winter. But I do think that many people want to wear masks, it’s okay.”
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC writer and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer’s genetic testing startup Tempus and the biotech company Illumina. He also served as the co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Navigation Group”.