Strain, Brazil, Food and Drug Administration, Virus, Scott Gottlieb . Scott Gottlieb on Covid-19 vaccine distribution, case counts and new variants
I mean the issue to date, has been distribution and having enough sites set up that people can access the vaccine and making sure those sites are set up in places where the people we want to reach are located so making sure that we distribute them evenly around The country get into urban environments places we have issues with a lack of access to health care generally, but as we set up more sites and that’s been happening, we’re going to run into problems with supply supply is going to become the issue. The one thing that the body administration has done that could potentially extend supply in the near term is try to get more production of more graduated needles so that we can make sure that in these vials that seem to have an extra dose in them. Where they’re overfilled a little bit, if you use a more graduated needle, you can withdraw the vaccine from those vials more carefully and preserve those extra doses, so that’s a way to extend the existing supply. The other thing that can happen that could create an inflection point is if the j j vaccine gets authorized, we’re going to have data on that very soon, probably by the end of this month, the company has indicated um that could get filed at some point next Month and could be authorized very quickly, um on based on the interim data, and if that vaccine comes to the market, j j has said that they should have a significant supply by april, and that would really create an inflection point in terms of expanding um access To vaccination well, we of course hope dr gottlieb.
We get that inflection point in terms of the pace of vaccinations rising. Until then, are you optimistic that the case count has seemingly plateaued a bit in in recent days and weeks, or are you fearful that, whether it’s because of new variants or other factors that it might pick up again in the meantime, no, i think we’re going to See continued um declines in cases around the country, declines in hospitalizations and we’re, going to start to see declines in deaths as well. We’Re, probably seeing that right now. I think the risk is that in places where this new variant is has a higher prevalence right now, particularly san diego and parts of florida, miami we could see regionalized epidemics either you see prevalence not really decline, which is actually what’s happening right now. If you look at the statistics from southern california and florida you’re not seeing the same level of declines in cases as you’re, seeing in other parts of the country, so you either see sort of a plateau and prevalence just as persistently high or you see, regionalized epidemics. I think that there’s a risk that we’re going to see regionalized epidemics in the spring and maybe even a summer in parts of the country where these new variants really get a foothold. I don’t think we’re going to see a confluent epidemic like we’re experiencing right now because of these new variants, that’s, really a risk to the next fall and the winter that these new variants gain a foothold around the entire country.
But there could be regions where they have higher prevalence right now, they’re, probably about one to two percent of infections in southern california and miami. If they’re doubling every week pretty soon in a matter of six weeks, they could, you could have thirty percent of infections comprised of b117 or maybe even more in parts of the country like new york or boston or philadelphia, where they might be 0.1.2 percent of overall Infections, even if they’re doubling every week, which has been the trajectory that they’re following it might be too little too late in terms of you get the seasonal effects of spring and summer, which is going to be a backstop against spread and you’ll also get rising. Vaccination rates hopefully that’s enough to create a backstop against these variants from getting a foothold in places where they’re not currently prevalent and it’s. Encouraging we’ve seen data dr gottlieb that the vaccine does protect against the new variants, though dr fauci did say the south african strain weakened the effectiveness of the vaccine. If, for some reason we get a new mutation and – and i and i understand these, these viruses do appear to be mutating a lot that does not work with the vaccine, we’re told by experts like yourself and fauci that go back to the lab and redo the Vaccine what’s the process: how long does that take? Do you have to have new clinical trials? How fast can that come online it’s unlikely that you’d get a new variant emerge that would completely defeat the vaccine it’s possible that they can completely defeat the the antibody drugs and, in fact the south african strain seems to do that.
You’D probably get what reduced effectiveness from the vaccines. That would be the risk, and you know it could be substantially reduced depending on the confluence of of mutations, that a new variant has. You can re engineer these vaccines fairly quickly, i’m on the border pfizer, which is developing one of the vaccines. As you know, the mrna vaccines, the virtue of that process. The fully synthetic process for developing vaccines is that, based on the sequence changes you can re engineer that vaccine in a matter of weeks. The challenge is going to be whether or not you put have to put it through. A full clinical development program. Fda really needs to try to work, to delineate a process where you can get approval on the basis of a new construct, where the only change is the the sequence that you’re using in the vaccines on the basis of experimental evidence and maybe small, complements of clinical Data that’s effectively what we do with the flu vaccine. Each year the flu vaccine gets licensed just on experimental data. We don’t even put that into people. We don’t test that in people each season, because we have so much experience correlating antibody production with those vaccines with their efficacy. We need to get a similar construct for these vaccines it’s possible. We may want to re engineer these vaccines to create a booster heading into the fall to give everyone a booster with a new variant that’s, something that scientists are going to have to look very carefully at if these.
If these new variants do gain enough of a foothold here in the united states and there’s, a demonstration that there’s reduced effectiveness of the vaccines right now, we don’t know shepard smith.