Former FDA chief and Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that he “hopes” there will be enough vaccines in 2021, following a report in the Wall Street Journal that Pfizer should reduce its initial estimates of the amount of vaccine doses this year due to supply chain problems.
“Supplies increase very quickly when you move out, and the more you push that deadline by 2021 by a week or two, the less supply you have in 2020,” Gottlieb said. “I hope we will have an adequate supply in 2021 and that will increase very quickly, but we hope that they will hit the market this year.”
An American died every 30 seconds from Covid on Wednesday, according to a CNBC analysis of data from John Hopkins. The virus has killed more than 275,000 Americans, and the United States has reported more than 2,800 deaths, the most in a day since the pandemic began, according to Jones Hopkins. Hospitalizations have doubled in the last month. On Wednesday, more than 1
Dr. Bruce Becker, an associate professor of behavioral medicine and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health, has warned of rising mortality in the coming months.
“I expect mortality to continue at this level or increase, maybe even double next month,” Becker said. “Every winter, we see significant deaths from influenza, other respiratory viruses and bacterial pneumonia, especially in the population most susceptible to severe Covid-19 infection. Expect this population to suffer from severe Covid-19 disease and mortality over the next three to four months. ”
Gottlieb told host Shepard Smith that he thought “Britain is a good regulator.” The vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech will be released in the UK next week after British regulators authorized it for emergency use on Wednesday.
“I worked closely with them. Most of the people who are there now are from the European regulator and returned to the UK after Brexit. So, I think they did a good job looking at that data.” said Gottlieb.
The CNBC staffer explained that the FDA’s process is different from the UK system, in particular because of the FDA’s commitment to have a public advisory committee and public disclosure. This process, in turn, will add a few weeks to the vaccine approval process.
“We believe there are public dividends for the public broadcast of this information, the holding of the public advisory committee meeting, FDA external advisers, independent advisers validate the process and provide objective opinions in an open environment,” Gottlieb said in an evening interview with News on Thursday. Shepard Smith. “I think it will go a long way to building public trust, so it may be worth the time.”
So far, the virus has killed more than 100,000 people in nursing homes. Nationally, people who work and live in long-term care facilities account for less than 6% of all Covid cases, but they account for nearly 40% of virus-related deaths, according to the COVID project.
On Tuesday, a group of medical experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to put the elderly in nursing homes and health workers first when the vaccine is approved. Gottlieb said the vaccines would be distributed to special places and distributed over a period of time to those populations.
“There will be an inflection point where I think there will be enough supply in the market to see how this rationing system will start to erode and be more widely available to larger groups of people,” Gottlieb said. “I guess it will be in March.”
The vaccines to be released by Pfizer and Moderna appear to be more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus, but only after patients have received two doses at least 20 days apart. Smith expressed concern about Americans taking two doses of the vaccine. Gottlieb said that although there is some protection after the first dose, both doses should be taken for 95% effectiveness. Becker echoed Gottlieb’s mood and stressed the importance of both doses being fully protected.
“Don’t miss the second dose because the first dose caused you a headache or a low temperature or muscle aches,” Becker said. “These symptoms are not Covid! They happen with most tetanus to flu shots, it’s just the way your body produces antibodies to protect you.”