Former FDA Commissioner Emphasizes Vaccine Effectiveness as Delta Spreads: ‘That Premise Is Still Fully Intact’


Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner and current Pfizer board member, emphasized the continued efficacy of coronavirus vaccines amid concerns over the Delta variant.

CBS’s John Dickerson spoke to Gottlieb on Face the Nation, where the conversation focused on “breakthrough” cases of people becoming infected with Covid even after being vaccinated against it. Gottlieb was asked what he thinks of data showing that among breakthrough cases, only 10 percent of those people transmit the virus to others.

Gottlieb answered by affirming “it’s still a very small percentage of people” spreading Covid around after getting vaccinated and then contracting the delta variant.

“Remember,” he said, “the original premise behind these vaccines were that they would substantially reduce the risk of death and severe disease and hospitalization. And that was the data that came out of the initial clinical trials. That premise is still fully intact.”

Gottlieb continued by emphasizing the vaccines have done well in preventing death and hospitalization as a result of Covid. He also argued that vaccines have lived up to their promise of reducing rates of infection and transmissibility, though the delta variant poses challenges for those still at risk.

“That premise is still intact,” Gottlieb repeated, “but what we see with the Delta variant is it’s diminished. There is more evidence that people are likely to spread the Delta variant even after vaccination than they were likely to spread the other variants. But it’s still a very small percentage of people. But we need to recognize, especially for vaccinated people who might be in contact with young children, with elderly individuals who are at risk, that there is a risk that they could develop a mild or asymptomatic infection and go on to spread it to others.”

Watch above, via CBS.

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