Gottlieb, who sits on the board of the vaccine manufacturer Pfizersaid an additional dose to boost immunity might be needed later this year.
“I think you could feel safe over the summer,” said the former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration “Squawk Box.” “The combination of the protective immunity people have from vaccinations – even if it decreases over time – combined with the fact that the prevalence is very low, can make people feel reasonably safe over the summer.”
“It would be nice if it turned out that it would be a year before someone needed a booster,” said Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said last month. “But we still don’t know,” added Marks. “It could be more, it could be a little less, but … that’s just something we need to find out over time.”
Gottlieb, who headed the FDA in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, said there could be more clarity about when to do so in the coming months.
“I think when we come into autumn we have to take care of giving boosters to the vulnerable population in particular,” said Gottlieb and predicted that these discussions will be more in focus after July 4th Joe Biden set yourself a goal of that 70% of US adults are at least partially vaccinated against Covid.
Currently, 63.5% of the country’s adult population has received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to CDC data, about 53% of adults in the US are fully vaccinated.
The pace of Covid vaccinations has slowed down in the past few weeks, and Gottlieb said he expected it to last through July and August. At the time, Gottlieb said Americans who weren’t vaccinated could choose to get the vaccine before they return to the office or their children go back to school.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion, and biotechnology company lighting. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line holdings‘ and royal caribbean‘s “Healthy Sail Panel”.