Former FDA Exec Says Pandemic Could End in 2021 With Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines
On Monday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated that the pandemic could "effectively end this pandemic in 2021" with vaccines, according to CNBC.
Early this morning, Moderna announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, based on data from its phase three clinical trial. This news comes one week after Pfizer and BioNTech reported that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective.
“If these full data sets hold, when the full data comes out, we may have two highly effective vaccines against Covid,” Gottlieb, a board member of Pfizer, said. “Once we get these vaccines in sufficient qualities heading in 2021, the combination of the fact that a lot of the population will have already had Covid, combined with the fact that we’ll be vaccinating the public with a highly effective vaccine, we could effectively end this pandemic in 2021 with our technology,” added Gottlieb, who served as a commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration.
Since the novel coronavirus started in late 2019, there have been almost 55 million confirmed cases and 1,318,884 deaths across the globe, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines are both using mRNA-based tech, a new method that uses genetic material to induce an immune response. Gottlieb did note that the vaccine data does not explicitly state that inoculated individuals will never contract the coronavirus. However, he stated that this data is very good news and optimism regarding the pandemic should significantly increase. “You have to presume, at these levels of efficacy that we’re seeing from these vaccines, the vaccines aren’t just reducing signs and symptoms of Covid disease but they’re actually probably preventing some people from getting infected or maybe reducing the likelihood of people [shedding] the virus,” Gottlieb said.
“If we do demonstrate that these vaccines actually reduce the rate of infection, these become very public health tools for preventing transmission,” Gottlieb said. “Hopefully, the data will show that. You have to believe that it will based on these levels of efficacy, but obviously we need to see the full datasets.”