Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Moderna Covid Vaccine Data: ‘We Could Effectively End This Pandemic in 2021'

Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters
  • The combination of at least two effective coronavirus vaccines and the number of people who previously had Covid-19 could help end the pandemic next year, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday.
  • Gottlieb's comments came after Moderna said preliminary data showed its vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing Covid-19.
  • "If these full data sets hold, when the full data comes out, we may have two highly effective vaccines against Covid," the former FDA chief said, referring to Pfizer's candidate as the other one.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that the devastating coronavirus pandemic could "effectively" be ended next year, following promising developments around Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine.

The Massachusetts-based biotech company on Monday announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing Covid-19, based on preliminary data from its phase-three trial. The news comes one week after Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said an interim analysis showed their vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among trial participants who had not previously been infected.

"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 on "Squawk Box." 

"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, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner in the Trump administration.

Since the coronavirus first emerged in China late last year, there has been nearly 55 million confirmed global cases and 1,318,884 deaths from Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Total infections in the U.S. just topped 11 million, with more than 1 million of those cases coming in less than a week.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina. Gottlieb also serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings′ and Royal Caribbean's "Healthy Sail Panel." 

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