Dr Scott Gottlieb on booster shots: ‘we’re late to this for sure’

on Nov 22, 2021
  • CDC approved the booster dose of COVID vaccines for all eligible Americans but did not make it a necessity.
  • Dr Scott Gottlieb says all U.S. adults should get a booster shot to put an end to the pandemic.
  • The former FDA commissioner expects COVID vaccines to become an annualised thing for some people.

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The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the booster dose of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all eligible Americans but did not make it a necessity.

Except for people aged 50 and above, the public health agency said U.S. adults could get a third dose only if they wanted to.

Dr Gottlieb’s remarks on CDC’s approval

Contrary to the CDC, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb reiterated that all U.S. adults should get a booster shot if vaccines are to be used more broadly to put an end to the pandemic, and not just as tools to minimise hospitalisation and deaths. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, he said:

The political leadership seems to be firmly in the camp that these vaccines should be more broadly used to try to bring an end to this pandemic. We didn’t see that from CDC. It’s simpler than where it was before, but the ‘should’ is only for 50 and above. We didn’t completely miss the window, but we’re late to this for sure.

Last month, Israel updated its definition of “fully vaccinated” that no longer includes people who haven’t received a booster shot.

Could there be a fourth dose?

Dr Gottlieb expects the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to be more lasting than the one used for flu that keeps people protected for about six months. He added:

I think it’s going to be highly variable. Younger people are going to have a more durable response than older people, and for some portion of the population; older individuals, immunocompromised people, this may well become something that’s done on an annualised basis.

Last week, the former FDA commissioner said the fastest way to get more immunity into the population ahead of the holiday season was a booster dose.


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