Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Monday he is not yet concerned about the number of Americans who have skipped their planned second dose of Covid vaccine.
“We’re not sure those people won’t come back in the end. They just didn’t come back in time,” the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said in an interview on The Washington City Times’s “Squawk Box.”
However, Gottlieb said receiving the second injection of Covid is necessary to obtain the full protective benefits of the vaccines for months to come. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two injections. (Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine, the third approved in the US for emergency use, requires only a single dose.)
“My advice to everyone would be that even if you’re young and there is some evidence that you get a robust immune response from that first dose alone, we don’t know the durability of that response,” said Gottlieb, who is on Pfizers. plate. “If you really want to get a lasting effect from the vaccine, you really have to get the second dose.”
On Friday, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that about 8% of US residents who received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have not returned for the second injection.
“The number of people we have not seen return for the second dose so far is low compared to historic standards or historic standards,” said Gottlieb, who led the FDA from 2017 to 2019 in the Trump administration. For example, he said the recurrence rate for the Covid vaccine is better than for the two-dose shingles vaccine.
Gottlieb acknowledged that it is possible that a higher percentage of vaccine recipients in the US could skip the second injection as more young people receive the injection. That’s partly because “younger people know that they get a more robust immune response from the first dose than an older person, who really needs that second dose to get full immune protection,” he reiterated.
People who haven’t returned for the second shot so far aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong on purpose, Gottlieb added. He complimented pharmacies that administer vaccines for “trying to enter reminders for those patients.”
“Often times it’s just lost to follow up. It’s not people who deliberately don’t come back,” Gottlieb said. “There are some situations, I’ve spoken to people who are concerned about the second dose, the side effects that are supposedly related to the second dose versus the first dose. But right now the percentage of people who have come back is because that second shot is quite high. “
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 105 million people in the US, nearly a third of the population, are fully vaccinated. According to the CDC data, about 147 million or about 44% of the US population has received at least one dose.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a contributor to The Washington City Times and serves on the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus, healthcare technology company Aetion Inc. and biotech company Illumina. He is also Co-Chair of the Healthy Sail Panel of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean.