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Gottlieb says that "at some point," COVID-19 vaccines could be considered a "three-dose vaccine"

Gottlieb says on COVID vaccines becoming three doses
Gottlieb says that COVID-19 vaccines could be considered a "three-dose vaccine" 05:31

Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Sunday on "Face the Nation" that he thinks "at some point" Americans who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 after three doses, although likely "not this year." 

"I think eventually this will be considered the three-dose vaccine, but I would be hard-pressed to believe CDC is going to make that recommendation any time soon," said Gottlieb. 

He said the CDC is currently "sort of stuttering" on making that recommendation because of the "debate" in the public health community about whether younger people who are at a lower risk level to get COVID-19 should get a third dose. 

In states like Connecticut and New Mexico, governors have already stepped out ahead of the CDC and said three shots are needed for individuals to consider themselves fully vaccinated. The CDC on Friday expanded eligibility for booster shots for all Americans over the age of 18.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb on "Face the Nation" November 21, 2021. CBS News

Gottlieb also said some businesses may soon enforce a rule that a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for employees or patrons to be considered fully vaccinated.  

"I think in cases where entities are going to mandate three doses for people who are six months out from the second dose, they're doing that because they're using the vaccine as a way to control transmission and try to end this pandemic," Gottlieb said. 

On Thursday, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it was suspending its enforcement of the Biden administration rule that ordered businesses with more than 100 employees to either require their workers get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.  

Gottlieb said "not inappropriate for businesses to mandate vaccines and certain businesses absolutely should be mandating vaccination in their workplaces," and he said that in "settings where you have a lot of employees working very closely together, it's hard to work in a masked environment in perpetuity." But he said the fight over vaccine rules has become a "political fight at a national level."  

"Unfortunately, you're going to see some governors trying to position themselves on this issue, like you've seen in Florida, and you're going to see the federal government, the Biden administration now fighting those states and fighting to implement these OSHA rules," said Gottlieb. "The end result is that I think businesses that we're going to move forward on mandates have moved forward and businesses that are reluctant to do it are probably going to wait in place and see what happens with the outcome of this litigation involving OSHA." 

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