UPMC doctor applauds FDA for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approval

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) — The FDA gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, calling it a key achievement in public health.

The agency said it’s a milestone that puts the U.S. one step closer to altering the course of the pandemic.

More than 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in the U.S., but still, only about half of Americans have been vaccinated. The big question is how will they respond to the F.D.A. decision.

The agency said the public can be very confident that the vaccine meets high standards for safety and effectiveness. And it’s hoped that full approval will boost confidence in the vaccine and spur more Americans to get it.

At a briefing following the FDA announcement, UPMC’s chief medical officer had an answer for people still worried that not enough research and testing went into the development and approval of the vaccine

Dr. Donald Yealy said, “Nothing about this has been rushed. It’s been at an incredible pace, but it’s not been rushed, particularly if you think of rushed, as someone who’s cut corners.
We have reams of data from controlled trials.”

And he added, “These are some of the most studied interventions that I’ve ever seen in 35 years of being a physician.”

After the F.D.A. approval, the Pentagon promptly announced that it’s going forward with plans to require members of the military to be vaccinated. Full approval could also lead to more vaccine mandates by companies, universities and local governments.

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