Gottlieb says breakthrough Covid infections more common than people realize due to weak monitoring

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  • Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member, told CNBC that people should get their boosters as soon as possible because there are more successful infections than the public realizes.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday approved Pfizer and Moderna Booster for all adults. The agency previously approved the Johnson & Johnson booster.

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Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that anyone who received a COVID vaccine in the early stages of rollout should register for their booster shots because “there is probably more among the vaccinated population.” Infections are happening” than the US is currently being monitored. ” on Monday.

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The effectiveness of COVID vaccines has eroded over time, and Gottlieb said that individuals are likely to have a successful infection after about a year of being fully immunized. But the boosters provide an “almost immediate” effect of restoring the antibody protection offered by vaccines to their original level, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said.

“There’s probably more infections going on among vaccinated populations, there’s more spread in that population, the unvaccinated portion of the population that we’re picking up on, because we’re not tracking it systematically,” Gottlieb said. “There are going to be retrospective studies identifying this, but we’re not doing a good job of tracking it in real time. And that’s the rationale for people to go out and get boosters.”

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Gottlieb urged vaccinated Americans to get a boost before they gather for Thanksgiving, advising that those who get an extra dose in the coming days still have “significantly more protection” during holiday time. can. He called on parents to bring unvaccinated children in for their shots before the holidays, adding that children are more shielded against COVID from their first dose than adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday cleared the way for a boost for all American adults at least six months after they received their second shot with Pfizer or Moderna’s two-dose COVID vaccines. The agency previously approved the booster for any Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipient age 18 and older, although they are eligible after two months of receiving the one-dose COVID shot.

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Gottlieb’s remarks came as the US reported an increase in Covid cases after weeks of decline and a nearly three-week plateau starting in late October and saw cases level between 70,000 and 75,000 per day. The country’s seven-day tally of new cases reached nearly 92,400 on Sunday, up 16% from a week earlier, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

The World Health Organization reported in its most recent weekly epidemiological update that there was a 6% increase in COVID cases globally for the week ending November 14. Europe reported more than 2.1 million new cases in that week, representing about 64% of the total cases worldwide, the WHO measured.

Hopkins found that Germany reported a seven-day average of more than 49,200 new cases on Sunday, about 31% more than the week before. Gottlieb said inadequate vaccination rates and a low degree of prior infection compared to the US are helping fuel the growth of Germany’s highly permeable delta variant.

“When you look at the total immunity in the German population, it’s probably lower than in the US,” Gottlieb said. “I’m not saying we’re impervious to outbreaks here – we’ve certainly seen delta thickets in specific parts of this country.”

“But I think we’re in a decidedly different situation than Germany right now because we’ve endured a lot of earlier waves of infection, and Germany has controlled infections to a better extent than in the earlier waves,” he continued. kept. “Now, there’s delta tension getting out of control.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the country’s 16 states to implement tough measures to control the spread by Wednesday, telling conservative party members that the current measures are inadequate. Germany has already limited public life in areas where hospitals are full.

Germany’s neighbor Austria to the south imposed a complete lockdown on Monday and is implementing a nationwide vaccine mandate from February 1.

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