How Dr. Scott Gottlieb protects his young kids on playdates before they can get Covid shots

Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Monday defined how he is attempting to maintain his three young daughters protected from the coronavirus whereas nonetheless permitting them to go to pals before their age teams can get vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19.

Gottlieb detailed his method on “Squawk Box,” after co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin requested the previous FDA chief for his ideas on indoor playdates for kids if their dad and mom are totally vaccinated.

“I’m reintroducing activities with my children, but I’m doing it, I hope, in a prudent way where I’m still keeping the social network somewhat defined. I’m being mindful about how many people they’re interacting with and who they’re interacting with,” stated Gottlieb, who led the Food and Drug Administration within the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. He’s now on the board of Pfizer, which makes one of many three Covid vaccines permitted for emergency use within the U.S.

“For example, a lot of their playdates have been with kids who are in their class,” Gottlieb stated. “Why? Because that’s their social pod. They’re already exposed to that social pod and so we try to keep the interactions within that defined pod.”

None of the vaccines getting used within the U.S. has been approved for young youngsters but.

Johnson & Johnson‘s single-shot vaccine and Moderna‘s two-dose vaccine obtained restricted clearance for individuals age 18 and older. By distinction, the FDA allowed Pfizer’s two-shot vaccine to be given to individuals age 16 and up.

All three drug makers are testing the vaccine in kids, though the medical trials are at numerous levels and look at differing age teams.

Pfizer stated Wednesday its vaccine was 100% efficient in adolescents ages 12 to 15, and Gottlieb advised CNBC then that he hopes it may very well be cleared for emergency use by the FDA for that cohort of youngsters by the autumn when faculty resumes.

Experts say vaccinating youngsters is important for the U.S. to realize so-called herd immunity, which is the purpose the place sufficient individuals in a inhabitants have antibodies to combat off the virus from vaccines or prior infections, and due to this fact sharply scale back its unfold.

“Kids are clearly less vulnerable to the infection, but less vulnerable does not mean that they’re not vulnerable and we do see some kids getting sick from the coronavirus,” Gottlieb stated.

At the present second, as extra adults are getting vaccinated and feeling comfy resuming actions they prevented earlier within the pandemic — comparable to touring, eating indoors and seeing family and friends — some are questioning how they ought to view the danger to their youngsters.

“The parents being vaccinated reduces the risk that the children have the infection … because a lot of the infections that we see on contact tracing actually are kids who get infected from their parents, not kids who are getting infected in school,” Gottlieb stated. “If you’re interacting with families where the adults have been vaccinated, it’s less likely that the kids are going to have the infection.”

However, Gottlieb burdened that even Americans who’ve been vaccinated ought to proceed to be aware that the pandemic, which has been going on for greater than a yr, will not be but over. For instance, he stated, an individual who obtained a Covid shot ought to nonetheless put on a masks round an at-risk particular person who hasn’t been vaccinated.

“People who are vaccinated can feel that they’re far less likely to get seriously ill,” he stated. “They’re less likely to get the infection and less likely to transmit the evidence. … But if you’re around vulnerable people, there’s still a possibility even if you’re vaccinated that you can be asymptotic and shed the virus and transmit the virus to that vulnerable person.”

CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus, health-care tech firm Aetion Inc. and biotech firm Illumina. He additionally serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘ and Royal Caribbean‘s “Healthy Sail Panel.”

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