Local health expert and community react to FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine


WILMINGTON, North Carolina (WECT) – The United States Food and Drug Administration gave full approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

Dr Paul Kamitsuka is the chief epidemiologist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and says the extensive process of obtaining full FDA approval confirms that the vaccine is safe and effective.

“This is one of the most scrutinized processes of any pharmaceutical, if not the most scrutinized in history, and all of the data in today’s FDA validation only underscores the fact that all the information essentially reassures us, ”says Kamitsuka.

Some people who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 have said the decision will change their mind.

“I think now that the FDA has approved it, I feel better about getting the shot, and I think I will and I think I should get the shot,” said local Emily Swain.

This line of thinking alleviates the concerns of Matthew Gregory-Poole, a worker who interacts with the public on a daily basis.

“If everyone got the vaccine I would feel 100% safer in my job,” said Gregory-Poole.

The FDA mentioned that its scientific and medical experts performed a thorough evaluation of the vaccine before approval.

Kamitsuka says vaccines are the answer to overcome the pandemic. He hopes more people will be confident now to get it.

“We need everyone to do their part so that we can get through this pandemic as best we can,” Kamitsuka said.

He mentioned that hospital staff are inundated with COVID patients, which diverts resources from people who need other medical care, such as heart attack or stroke patients.

Kamitsuka added that FDA approval should make it easier for places like universities, businesses and even grocery stores to vaccinate employees and customers.

Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.

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