“This is already in the United States,” says Dr. Gottlieb

Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb has warned that the new highly contagious Covid-19 mutation found in the United Kingdom “is already in the United States,” as more than 40 countries ban travel to and from the United Kingdom for 48 years. hours or more.

“I don’t think a travel ban, at this point, will prevent this mutant strain from coming to the United States,” Gottlieb said. “We will have an epidemic that continues to develop over the next three or four weeks, we will reach a peak and then we will start to see that infection rates decrease as we see that vaccinations will be launched. “

The new version of Covid-19 forces parts of the UK to be blocked. The government has imposed the strictest restrictions in London, as well as in other parts of the south-east of England, and families can no longer gather during Christmas, as previously planned. In an interview with CNBC, “The News with Shepard Smith”, on Monday night, Gottlieb explained that the new mutation is probably the result of a selective pressure on the virus itself.

“As the virus continues to spread around the world, we will begin to see more of these variants and that is why it is important to vaccinate the population and eliminate these infections,” Gottlieb said. “The more infections you have, the more likely these are to spread.”

Scientists in the UK have suggested that the Covid variant makes the virus 50% more communicable, however, there is currently no sign that it is aggravating the disease. Both Eli Lilly and Regeneron, who produce antibodies to Covid, said their drugs should be effective against the variant. According to Reuters, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said his company would investigate the mutation, but analyzed the situation “with caution.” BioNTech is Pfizer’s partner for the Covid vaccine. Gottlieb explained to host Shep Smith why he believes vaccines will have to adapt eventually.

“The question is: is this virus going to change surface proteins in a way that can prevent vaccines or previous immunity, and there’s no indication that it’s doing that right now, but over time it will evolve in ways that can probably prevent previous infection or vaccines to some extent, so we’ll probably have to adapt our vaccines over time, “Gottlieb said.

The first shipments of Covid vaccine from Moderna arrived today in US hospitals. The Modern vaccine is the second, after Pfizer, to be approved by the FDA. The Modern launch is expected to be double the size, with the company planning to deliver six million doses this week, compared to Pfizer’s 2.9 million doses last week. The Pfizer vaccine requires a temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 70 degrees Celsius. Moderna can keep her vaccine for up to six months at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gottlieb said the current logistics for vaccine distribution are “good”, but that some challenges may arise as the vaccine population expands.

“I think the challenge will be the last mile, trying to distribute these vaccines to the community,” Gottlieb said. “Right now, in December, we are distributing these vaccines mostly to health workers through medical institutions, academic hospitals, community hospitals, they know how to distribute a vaccine, they know how to find their health workers.”

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and a member of the boards of Pfizer, the Tempus genetic testing start-up, and the biotechnology company Illumina. Pfizer has a manufacturing agreement with Gilead for remdesivir. Gottlieb is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘ and Royal Caribbean“The panel with healthy sails”.