Richard Besser, who served as the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Barack Obama, said the U.S. should continue to focus on giving patients both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine despite the slow rollout .
On CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith,” Besser agreed with the comments made by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, had handed in on Monday. During a Covid-19 briefing at the White House, Fauci said staying on track for two doses offers us the clearest avenue for protecting people from the virus and its growing number of variants.
“I would go with Dr. Fauci on that case,” Besser said. “I am concerned that if we take a single dose, we may offer humans a sub-optimal level of protection.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration based on the protection they provide after two doses at different times. Due to the slower-than-expected introduction of the vaccine and the spread of Covid-19 variants across the country, some scientists have recommended distributing single vaccines to more people rather than double-dosing fewer patients.
Besser, who is now the President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also said it was too early for states to open bars and restaurants to larger groups of people. He said while evidence shows we can safely open schools, indoor social gatherings could lead to larger outbreaks “if we drop our guard”.