Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that he was planning to have his young children vaccinated against Covid “as soon as they are eligible”.
Pfizer said Friday that its two-shot vaccine at smaller doses was 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic illnesses in children aged 5-11 years in a clinical trial. Scientists from the Food and Drug Administration – ahead of the vaccines panel meeting Tuesday to review vaccinations for this age group – said the benefits outweigh the risks.
“My children are entitled to a vaccination and I will have them vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. I have faith in the vaccine, “said Gottlieb, former head of the FDA and current board member of Pfizer, in a” Squawk Box “interview.” I think it will be liberating for your life. “
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 12-15, and some school districts, including the second largest in the country, Los Angeles, imposed vaccination regulations on young students.
Gottlieb said, however, that if the shots are actually approved for the younger children, elementary schools are unlikely to get widespread mandates. “I just don’t see mandates as a stand-out feature of how this vaccine is distributed for long periods of time.”
There is a difference in the expected approval and introduction of vaccinations for children between the ages of 5 and 11, which, according to Gottlieb, can lead to a higher vaccination rate compared to other age groups.
“I think the fact that this is being distributed in pediatric offices is going to make a difference because you don’t necessarily want to take a 5-11 year old to a mass vaccination center or pharmacy to the comfort of the pediatrician’s office,” he said.
Although data has shown Covid to be less fatal in children, Gottlieb said the numbers are still high.
“Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen 690 deaths in children under the age of 18 and 115 children between the ages of 5 and 11,” he said. “Just to put that in perspective, before we had a chickenpox vaccine, we’d lose about 90 children a year.”
The U.S. has the highest number of cumulative Covid deaths in the world, with the total since the pandemic started of nearly 736,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the 24 states that report children’s hospital admissions, there were 25,000, according to Gottlieb. “We children are still having problems with this virus, so I will vaccinate my children as soon as it becomes available to them.”
Currently, according to CDC data, more than 57% of the total US population is fully vaccinated as defined by two vaccinations of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and one vaccination of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion Inc., and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ′ and Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Panel.