Scientists are saying to remain vigilant even after receiving the COVID vaccine.
Even though the vaccine protects you from getting sick, it is too early to know for sure whether vaccine recipients can spread the virus. Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb sent an alarming warning shot on CNBC's Squawkbox for recipients to continue keeping their guard up and to adhere to the typical public-health measures we have tried to follow over the last 12 months.
Dr. Gottlieb was speaking directly to seniors when he said, “I think for an older individual who is vulnerable to this virus, wait for a period after the second shot until you have full protective immunity. I don't think people should feel completely secure after the first shot.” With the scientist still somewhat unsure of whether vaccine recipients can still spread the virus, Dr. Gottlieb's words seem to make good sense.
The most recent numbers reported today by CDC show 30,628,175 vaccines have been distributed and because of political reasons only 9,690,991 people have received 1 or more doses. It appears these numbers are very low since the United States received the green light to begin administering the vaccine.
According to a WSJ piece, due to political will and innovation in the private sector, the vaccine process was developed at a record pace. On the contrary, though, the vaccine distribution process has been caught up in political interference.
It was good to see Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar getting everyone's attention this week when he said, “Every vaccine dose sitting in a warehouse rather than going into an arm could mean one more lost life.”
Thankfully, members of Operation Warp Speed stepped up when they indicated states should expand access to everyone 65 and older, as well as those with underlying health issues. Hopefully, these guidelines will do what they are intended to do and expedite the process for those waiting for their first or second dose.
Until we know for sure whether those who have received their first vaccine can spread the virus, we truly hope states will improve their distribution process and get the vaccines into the hands of our most vulnerable. Until then, we recommend recipients do what Dr. Gottlieb recommended and don't let ther guard down.