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Dr. Scott Gottlieb warns Covid vaccine recipients towards letting their guards down straight away

Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Thursday warned coronavirus vaccine recipients towards letting their guards down straight away, telling CNBC they need to adhere to public-health measures resembling sporting masks.

The former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner mentioned the recommendation is especially essential for aged Americans who’re at increased threat of demise or critical sickness from Covid-19.

“I think for an older individual who is vulnerable to this virus, certainly .. wait for a period of time after the second shot until you’re likely to have full protective immunity,” Gottlieb mentioned on “Squawk Box.” “I don’t think people should feel completely secure after the first shot.”

Both Covid vaccines which have acquired emergency use authorization from the FDA require two doses. Pfizer and its German associate BioNTech developed one of many vaccines, whereas Moderna makes the opposite. Gottlieb sits on the board of Pfizer.

Roughly 10.three million Americans have acquired their preliminary Covid shot, as of Wednesday morning, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 29.four million doses have been distributed.

The shaky vaccine rollout comes because the nation continues to see excessive ranges of coronavirus an infection and extra deaths from Covid-19. The nation’s seven-day common of latest each day instances is 245,306, in line with a CNBC evaluation of information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. An common of three,360 Americans have died from Covid-19 per day during the last week, the second-highest tally on report.

Vaccine recipients have to nonetheless take public-health precautions as a result of the U.S. outbreak stays so important and “infection is everywhere,” Gottlieb mentioned. “If you’re a vulnerable individual, even if you’ve had the second shot and you think you have full protective immunity from the vaccine, it’s still very prudent to continue to wear a mask and take precautions.”

“That doesn’t mean you have to hibernate and have to avoid seeing family,” added Gottlieb, who led the FDA within the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. “Maybe you can lean forward in that regard but wear a mask. Be more careful in those interactions, because in a high-prevalent environment, you’re still at risk.”

As extra Americans develop into vaccinated towards Covid-19, Gottlieb mentioned that ought to decrease general U.S. an infection charges and considerably curtail the depth of the epidemic. At that time, he mentioned it will likely be extra smart to “relax” some precautions.

“That’s hopefully going to be the summer, the spring, if these new variants don’t get a foothold here in the United States and change our trajectory,” he mentioned, referencing the coronavirus strains initially discovered within the U.Ok. and South Africa which might be believed to be extra transmissible.

Researchers in Ohio mentioned Wednesday they’ve found two new variants that probably originated within the U.S. 

Last week, Gottlieb cautioned Americans that returning to pre-pandemic life is unlikely to occur in 2021. For instance, he informed CNBC that public venues should be requiring folks to have their temperature taken earlier than entry.

“I just think things are going to be different, just like they’re different when you go through an airport now after 9/11,” he mentioned final week. “I don’t think masks are going to be mandatory next fall and winter if we can get the vaccination rate up and if these new variants go away or don’t become prevalent. But I do think a lot of people will want to wear masks, and that’s OK.”

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus and biotech firm Illumina. He additionally serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel.” 

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