At least some portions of the U.S. public may need to receive a Covid-19 booster shot by the fall, former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb said during an interview Monday—a statement that comes as health officials’ main focus continues to be getting the first round of Covid-19 shots into as many arms as possible.
During an interview with CNBC, Gottlieb was asked when he believed people would need a booster shot.
Gottlieb stressed that vaccinated Americans can feel safe “through the summer,” adding that the “effectiveness of the vaccine” also correlates with the prevalence of the virus, which right now is low.
“As we get into the fall, I think we’re going to have to look at giving—especially the vulnerable population—boosters,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb argued that discussion about the rollout of a booster shot will pick up after the Biden Administration’s July 4 vaccine deadline passes.
Multiple pharmaceutical companies—including AstraZeneca and Moderna—are already working on developing a Covid-19 booster shot. Last month, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the government was “planning” for the possibility that Americans will need booster shots, but that health agencies had yet to conclude whether Americans would in fact need one. “It would really be foolish not to plan for the possibility that we might have to boost people,” Fauci said.
“Vaccination rates are going to fall off quite sharply in July and August,” Gottlieb predicted during the CNBC interview. “They are going to pick back up toward the end of August and into September as people contemplate going back to work.”