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Covid infections are more common than people realize, Gottlieb says

Covid infections are more common than people realize, Gottlieb says

November 24, 2021: -Anyone who received a Covid vaccine in the earliest stages of the rollout should register for their booster doses because “there’s probably more infection happening among the vaccinated population” than the U.S. is currently monitoring, Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday.

The effectiveness of Covid vaccines is proving to diminish over time, and Gottlieb said breakthrough infections to occur in individuals a year removed from becoming immunized. But boosters offer an “almost immediate” effect of restoring the antibody protection provided by vaccines to their original levels, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner noted.

“I think we need to accept that there’s a lot of breakthrough infections happening, people who are out a portion of time from their original vaccination,” Gottlieb said. “There’s probably more infection happening among the vaccinated population, spreading in that population, the unboosted portion of that population, than what we’re picking up because we’re just not systematically tracking this.”

“There’s going to be retrospective studies that identify this, but we’re not doing a good job of tracking this in real-time. And this is the argument for people to go out and get boosters,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb is urging vaccinated Americans to get boosted before gathering for Thanksgiving, advising that those receiving an extra dose in the days ahead could still “have substantial protection” in time for the holiday. He called on parents to bring unvaccinated kids for their doses before the holidays, adding that children gain a more excellent shield against Covid from their first dose than adults.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the way for all U.S. adults inoculated with Pfizer or Moderna’s two-dose Covid vaccines to get boosted nearly six months after receiving their second shot. The agency approved boosters for any Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipient ages 18, though they’re eligible two months after getting the one-dose Covid shot.

Covid cases were up 6% globally as of the week ended November 14, the World Health Organization reported in its most weekly epidemiological update. Europe recorded over 2.1 million new cases over that week, representing 64% of the total cases worldwide, the WHO measured.

Germany reports a seven-day average of over 49,200 new cases on Sunday, almost a 31% increase from the week prior, Hopkins found. Gottlieb said that pockets of inadequate vaccination rates and a lower degree of prior infection than the U.S. are helping fuel Germany’s surge of the highly transmissible delta variant.

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Covid infections are more common than people realize, Gottlieb says