Scott Gottlieb: ‘A Lot of Breakthrough Infections Happening’

Scott Gottlieb: 'A Lot of Breakthrough Infections Happening' scott gottlieb speaks in hearing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb testifies at a hearing on Capitol Hill to examine the Federal response to the opioid crisis Oct. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/AP)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 23 November 2021 02:45 PM

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a televised interview that breakthrough COVID-19 infections are more common than people realize.

Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member, made his comments on Monday during an interview on CNBC’s "Squawk Box."

He urged people to get boosters as soon as possible.

"At this point I think we need to accept that there’s a lot of breakthrough infections happening, particularly people who are out a significant portion of time from their original vaccination," Gottlieb said. "There’s probably more infection happening among the vaccinated population, more spread happening 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 the booster."

Gottlieb made his comments as the U.S. reported an increase in COVID-19 cases. The cases had leveled off between 70,000-75,000 in late October. Citing data from John Hopkins University, CNBC noted that as of Sunday, the U.S. seven-day average for new cases stood at nearly 92,400.

Anyone who received a vaccine in the early stages of the rollout should get their booster shots because "there’s probably more infection happening among the vaccinated population" than the U.S. is now monitoring, he said.

He noted boosters offer an "almost immediate" of restoring the protections offered by the vaccines.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky last week signed off on a recommendation from a CDC advisory panel that suggested that the eligibility for Americans to get a booster be broadened to all adults. The panel also suggested that those over 50 get a booster.