Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Thursday that Covid booster shots may become a reality for certain swaths of the population. Gottlieb made the prediction on the heels of news that a panel of expert advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan to consider booster shots for immunocompromised patients.
“I think the bottom line is that we’re going to be boosting some portion of the population,” Gottlieb told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.” “I think considering boosters, especially in the older, more vulnerable population, is something that we are going to have to do.”
Gottlieb noted that Israel is already offering booster shots to adults with severe pre-existing medical conditions, and that France and the United Kingdom are planning to administer booster shots. The former FDA chief in the Trump administration also cited data from Israel showing that the durability of the Covid vaccines does not last as long researchers might have predicted from the outset.
“I think we’re going to get there in terms of looking at boosters, particularly for the older population that was vaccinated back in December and January,” Gottlieb said. “It could be that you get a very durable response once you get the third dose.”
Host Shepard Smith also asked Gottlieb about reimposing mask mandates across the nation as a result of the highly transmissible delta variant. Los Angeles County reissued a mask mandate Thursday requiring residents to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.
Gottlieb told Smith that he thinks Los Angeles is the exception and advised that individuals take masking measures into their own hands.
“I think individuals in these hot spots around the country who are vulnerable, are going to have take measures into their own hands and take precautions if they think that they’re at risk, because a lot of spread is happening in states that have already affirmed they’re not going back to mandates,” Gottlieb said.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus, health-care tech company Aetion Inc. and biotech company Illumina.