DR. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday that the US is unlikely to be exterminated Covid as was the case with other diseases like polio and smallpox, unless Americans change their attitudes about vaccination significantly.
“It is possible. We do not seem ready to do this and take the collective action that is required,” said the former head of the Food and Drug Administration “Squawk Box.”
“It will take people who practice a serious virtue to get vaccinated, even if they feel they have a low risk of infection because even if they have a low personal risk they can receive and transmit the infection, and you cannot exterminate them. ” A disease that has a significant contingent of people who continue to catch and transmit it, “he said.
No cases of polio have occurred in the United States since 1979, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first vaccine against the paralyzing disease became available in the country in 1955.
It was nice more than 70 years since the last naturally occurring smallpox outbreak has been recorded in the US, according to the CDC. In 1980, after a year-long global public health campaign that included mass vaccination, became the decision-making body of the World Health Organization proclaimed smallpox eradicated.
“We’re eliminating things where we have very high vaccination rates and where the vaccine is a one-time vaccine that provides full protection over a long period of time and for a lifetime,” said Gottlieb, who sits on the board of directors of PfizerThis means that one of the three Covid vaccines for emergencies is approved in the USA. Moderna makes the other two-shot vaccine. Johnson & JohnsonOne-dose vaccine was stopped by the FDA for cases of rare but severe blood clotting problems.
“You see measles, smallpox, polio, we vaccinate children. It gives them a level of protection that lasts long-term or into adulthood, and so we can eradicate or largely eradicate these diseases in societies in which we live. Vaccination levels that are very.” are high, “said Gottlieb. For Covid, this is unlikely to be the case in the United States, he said. In addition, there is a “sufficiently large” proportion of the adult population Resistance to Covid vaccination and the recordings are not yet available for young children, he said.
“If it becomes available to children, there is now a very healthy debate in this country about whether it is mandatory for children to go back to school and it appears that the answer will be ‘no’ in the vast majority of states will. “said Gottlieb. “That doesn’t create the conditions to eradicate this virus. It creates a setup in which we can bring this virus to a low level. But you will still have pockets of spread. If we want to eradicate it, we need it.” make different decisions as a society. “
Many colleges and universities in the US need Covid vaccines for students returning for the fall semester.
Gottlieb’s comments on Friday came a day after comments were made public Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla who said it was “likely” People need a third dose of Covid vaccine within one year of full vaccination.
The remarks renewed the conversation about the duration of the coronavirus threat to the World Health Organization declared a pandemic 13 months ago.
In the US, around 24% of the population are fully vaccinated against Covid, according to the CDC. president Joe Biden has asked states to ensure all adults are eligible to receive the shot in the coming days.
Even if millions of Americans are still being vaccinated, coronavirus cases in the United States are still on the rise. According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the 7-day average of new infections a day was 70,484, up 7% over the past week. That is a long way from their all-time highs earlier this year, but it is in line with the levels seen during the summer surge.
Some people, including Bourla, have suggested that coronavirus vaccinations could become an annual event, similar to seasonal influenza. In the near future, Gottlieb said he expected this to be true.
“It is difficult to predict what things will be like in seven years, ten years from now with Covid and how much this infection will be socially reduced, but at least for the foreseeable future you could see that this would be an annual … vaccination,” he said .
More than 31 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States since the pandemic began. according to Johns Hopkins dataand at least 565,293 people in the country have died from the disease. Both cumulative cases and deaths in the United States, the highest of any nation in the world, account for about 20% of the global total.