Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Pfizer director and former FDA chief, says the Covid vaccine will not assist instantly

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that despite positive news from Pfizer on Monday, the US is still facing “the toughest expansion” of the coronavirus pandemic without the benefits of a vaccine.

Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration agent in the Trump Administration, is a member of Pfizer’s Board of Directors.

“The vaccine really is an event in 2021 when it comes to giving this first tranche of recipients protective immunity,” Gottlieb said shortly after Pfizer’s announcement on Squawk Box. “Then, in terms of when it would be widely available, I think the hope is still there … you could have a vaccine by and large, maybe late into the second quarter, maybe into the third quarter.”

The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that the vaccine, which it is developing together with the German company BioNTech, is more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 if there is no evidence of a previous infection.

“I think we need to remember that we may have a short but very tough road ahead of us,” Gottlieb said as the US set a series of all-time highs for new daily Covid-19 cases in the past few days. He told CNBC on Friday he believed the cases “could explode” in a few weeks.

However, Gottlieb said Monday, “We should take this positive news and realize that there may be a much better future ahead of us. … We could be available to have a vaccine widely available sometime in 2021 and do whatever what we can. ” Keep protecting people who are susceptible to this virus. “

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, the genetic testing startup Tempus, and the biotech company Illumina. Gottlieb is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Panel.

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