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Dr Gottlieb builds a case for ‘booster shot’ ahead of holiday season

on Nov 18, 2021
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  • Gottlieb says fastest way to get more immunity into the population ahead of holiday season is a booster shot.
  • Fully vaccinated people are eligible for a booster 6 months after receiving their second dose of the vaccine.
  • The U.S. FDA could approve Pfizer's application for a booster dose for all American adults this week.

A week after the World Health Organisation lashed out on developed nations for distributing booster shots when vaccination in developing countries hasn’t even hit the bare minimum, the former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb says a third dose is the best shot for making people more immune to the deadly virus ahead of thanksgiving.

Dr Gottlieb’s remarks on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’

Dr Gottlieb reiterated that pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), where he sits on the board, have run trials to establish beyond doubt that immunity against the deadly virus after two shots fades away over time, and that a third dose can indeed boost it back to 95%.

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If someone with 40% immunity left against symptomatic disease because they were vaccinated eight months ago, get a booster, their protection goes to 95% within days. So, the fastest way to get more immunity into the population ahead of the holiday season is a booster dose.

Pfizer has already filed for U.S. FDA’s approval for its booster dose for all adults. The regulator is expected to announce its verdict this week.

About 18% of American adults are still unvaccinated

For a sustainable victory against the pandemic, Dr Gottlieb sees a need to not only focus on vaccinating that remaining 18% of American adults that are still unvaccinated but also to get eligible people a third dose of the vaccine.  

I think it’ll be easier to convince someone who’s already had two doses of vaccine to get a third dose than to convince that 18% of adults who have so far not been vaccinated to get a shot for the first time.

Fully vaccinated individuals are eligible for a booster shot six months after receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.