UPDATED 5:55 PM PT – Sunday, January 31, 2021
Former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb said the COVID-19 vaccines should be enough to slow the spread of new variants.
In an interview on Sunday, Gottlieb claimed the vaccines are the best stopgap against the Brazilian and South African variants as Americans continue to be immunized.
We have time to get this right. But we don’t have time to waste. Current vaccines will be an important backstop to continued spread, and will help reduce introduction of new variants. By the fall, we could have boosters that are targeted to the changes we see with those mutants.
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) January 29, 2021
The former Trump administration official said health officials should look for hotspot areas, particularly Miami and San Diego. However, Gottlieb is confident health experts know how to handle the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now we know what works. Prior immunity and the vaccines do appear to be as effective against this new variant. So as we immunize more of the population and if people continue to wear masks and be vigilant in these parts of the country, we can keep this at bay,” Gottlieb stated. “It’s not too late, but it’s a real risk to those regions of the country right now.”
Gottlieb urged Americans not to take their foot off the break while combating the virus and to stay vigilant with social distancing standards.