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Tags: scott gottlieb | vaccine | pfizer | moderna | pandemic

Scott Gottlieb: Pandemic Could End Next Year If Vaccines Effective

gottlieb in a suit and blue tie and shirt
Dr. Scott Gottlieb (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 November 2020 01:24 PM

The coronavirus pandemic could end in 2021 if vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are as effective as their initial data indicates, but first, the numbers of cases and deaths will climb, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Monday. 

"We'll spend the next three months probably infecting another 15% and get to 30%, maybe more," Gottlieb, now a CNBC contributor, said on "Squawk Box." "Thirty percent assumes the current run rate if things don't get any worse."

However, he warned that at just 15% more fatalities, "200,000 additional deaths, that's what we're looking at, what we're trying to prevent right now."

But having one or two highly effective vaccines, such as Moderna's, with a reported efficacy rate of 94.5% and Pfizer's, which is at 90%, will result in 2021 being a "much better year," said Gottlieb, particularly if there is a sufficient number of doses to treat the public. 

Once the vaccinations start, when combined with the number of people who have already been sick, the pandemic could "effectively end," said Gottlieb. 

For now, though, steps must continue to preserve life and to keep the nation's healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, he said, as the "entire country is a hit zone."

Meanwhile, Gottlieb said he expects the state's governors will work together, at least on a regional basis, to come up with regional solutions. 

"The virus doesn't respect state sovereignty," said Gottlieb. "It crosses borders. You're having regional kinds of epidemics. If the states work together within the regions we are seeing the spread be more continuous, that's going to be far more effective."

He added that he thinks more states will start to use targeted mitigation that affects indoor settings where people gather in groups and can't wear masks, such as in restaurants, bars, and gyms. 

Gottlieb also said he expects to see more high schools and middle schools close so their teachers can be sent to teach younger grades, as younger children are less at risk of serious COVID-19 infections than are teenagers. 

"The problem is, we're not doing a good job," said Gottlieb. "The challenge is you can't fully prevent it from getting into those congregate settings. The key is to reduce the spread to the extent you can. These are the same things the south did, Arizona and Texas as well."

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The coronavirus pandemic could end in 2021 if vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are as effective as their initial data indicates, but first, the numbers of cases and deaths will climb, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Monday. "We'll...
scott gottlieb, vaccine, pfizer, moderna, pandemic
388
2020-24-16
Monday, 16 November 2020 01:24 PM
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