Dr. Scott Gottlieb says he will vaccinate his young children against Covid

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that he plans to vaccinate his young children against Covid “as soon as they are eligible.”

Pfizer said Friday that its lower-dose, double-dose vaccine has been shown to be 90.7% effective in clinical trials to prevent symptomatic illness in children aged 5-11. FDA scientists – ahead of Tuesday’s vaccine expert group meeting to review vaccinations for this age group – said the benefits outweigh the risks

“My children are eligible for the vaccine and I will vaccinate them as soon as they meet the criteria. I believe in a vaccine, ”said Gottlieb, the former head of the FDA and current board member of Pfizer. Box “interview. “I think it will free their lives.”

In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, and several school districts, including the nation’s second largest, Los Angeles, introduced mandatory vaccines for school children.

However, Gottlieb said the requirements were unlikely to be widespread in elementary schools if injections were indeed approved for young children. “I just don’t see mandates being an important feature of how this vaccine has been distributed over the long term.”

There is one difference in the expected approval and rollout of vaccinations for children 5-11 years old, Gottlieb said, which may contribute to higher vaccination rates compared to other age groups.

“I think the fact that this is being distributed in pediatric offices … will make a difference because you don’t want to necessarily bring a 5-11 year old child to a vaccine mass distribution center or pharmacy. them in the comfort of a pediatrician’s office, ”he said.

While the data showed Covid is less dangerous for children, Gottlieb said the numbers are still high.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen 690 deaths among children under the age of 18 and 115 children between the ages of 5 and 11,” he said. “To put this in perspective, before we have the chickenpox vaccine, we are losing about 90 children a year.”

The United States has recorded the largest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, with the total number of coronavirus deaths approaching 736,000 since the start of the pandemic. data collected by Johns Hopkins University

Of the 24 states reporting child hospitalizations, Gottlieb said there were 25,000. “Children are still having problems with this virus, so I’m going to vaccinate my children as soon as they become available.”

More than 57% of the entire US population is now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, as measured by two Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and one Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC member and board member of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, and technology company Aetion Inc. and a biotech company. Illumina… He is also co-chairman of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel”.

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