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Local health officials hope Pfizer’s FDA approval will change skeptics’ minds

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:43 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Local health officials are hoping the FDA’s full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will help convince people who were on the fence to get vaccinated.

The FDA’s decision on the vaccine was announced Monday.

“We were really excited, this is another confirmation that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective,” said Kelly Craine, Public Information Officer for the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. “Hopefully we can turn the tide on this, we can stop this.”

Craine says they’re hoping people in the McLennan County community who were skeptical will now reconsider and get the jab.

“There are a lot of people that are vaccine hesitant because they are concerned it was an emergency authorization, now we have validity that it is fully approved,” said Craine.

The most received COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., Pfizer’s two-shot doze is the fastest vaccine development ever in the West.

However, it’s speed that seems to be the hang-up with many Central Texans.

Under pressure to give vaccination approval, the FDA made its decision less than four months after Pfizer’s submission for full approval...a process which normally takes up to ten months.

KWTX asked viewers if the FDA approval changed their minds about getting vaccinates: an overwhelming majority said ‘no.’

“No,” said Gena. “It doesn’t change the fact that this is a new vaccine and no one knows what the long term effects will be.”

Dozens agreed with Gena, citing the unknowns about the long-term effects.

One woman did say her mind was changed.

“Yes, and we are proud of the FDA for approving it!” said Jamie.

Local health officials shared the sentiment.

“There’s study after study and so much real world data that this vaccine really does make a difference, it is safe, and it is effective for stopping COVID-19,” said Craine.

The WMCPHD currently offers all three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson), however, Craine says now they’re going to be stocking even more Pfizer.

“Absolutely, and of course because it was the one for 12-17 years olds, we have been stocking plenty of that just to meet that demand for our teenagers,” said Craine.

The FDA has only fully authorized the Pfizer shot for those 16 and older.

The company is planning to request full approval for children as young as twelve once it has collected and analyzed six months of data from clinical trials.

Pfizer is also planning to submit a request for booster authorization (the third shot) as an amendment to the full approval.

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