On Monday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb explained how he was trying to protect his three young daughters from Covid-19 while allowing them to visit friends before their age groups could be vaccinated.
Gottlieb detailed his approach to the Squawk Box after co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked the former FDA chief about his thoughts on children’s indoor play if their parents were fully vaccinated.
“I’m reintroducing activities with my children, but I’m doing it, I hope, in a sensible way, where I still maintain the social network to some extent. drugs in the Trump administration from 201
“For example, many of their play dates were with children in their class,” Gottlieb said. “Why? Because it’s their social pod. They’re already exposed to this social pod, so we’re trying to keep the interactions within that particular pod.”
None of the vaccines used in the United States are yet approved for young children.
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the two-dose Moderna vaccine have been given limited access to people over 18 years of age. In contrast, the FDA allows the two-shot Pfizer vaccine to be given to people over the age of 16.
All three drug manufacturers are testing the vaccine in children, although clinical trials are at different stages and examining different age groups.
Pfizer said Wednesday that its vaccine is 100% effective in adolescents aged 12 to 15, and Gottlieb told CNBC that he hopes it will be approved for emergency use by the FDA for this cohort of children by the fall when school resume.
Experts say that vaccination of children is necessary for the United States to achieve so-called herd immunity, which is the point at which enough people in a population have antibodies to fight the virus from vaccines or previous infections and therefore sharply reduce its spread.
“Children are obviously less vulnerable to infection, but less vulnerable does not mean they are not vulnerable, and we see that some children get the coronavirus,” Gottlieb said.
At the moment, as more adults get vaccinated and feel comfortable resuming activities they avoided earlier during the pandemic – such as travel, dinner indoors and meeting friends and family – some are wondering how they should look at the risk to their children.
“Parents who get vaccinated reduce the risk of their children having an infection … because many of the infections we see in contact tracking are actually children who are infected by their parents, not children who are infected at school.” Gottlieb said. “If you interact with families where adults have been vaccinated, children are less likely to be infected.”
However, Gottlieb stressed that even Americans who have been vaccinated must continue to keep in mind that the pandemic, which has lasted more than a year, is not over. For example, he said, a man who received a Covid shot still has to wear a mask around a risky person who has not been vaccinated.
“People who are vaccinated may feel that they are much less likely to get seriously ill,” he said. “They are less likely to get the infection and less likely to transmit the infection. … But if you are around vulnerable people, you are still likely, even if you are vaccinated, to be asymptomatic and to shed the virus and transmit the virus. to this vulnerable man. “
– CNBC Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and a member of the board of Pfizer, which is launching the Tempus genetic test, health technology company Aetion Inc. and a biotechnology company Illuminati. He is also co – chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘and Royal Caribbeanis “Healthy Canvas.”