On Monday, good news came from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it announced — after a rigorous clinical trial that included over 40,000 people — the Pfizer vaccine, now named Comirnaty, has been approved for those 16 years old and above.
“This is another step, just in that, proof that the science is there, that this vaccine is safe and effective,” said Dr. Michael Schlooff, CHI Health, Primary Care Medical Director.
With around half of Nebraskans still not vaccinated, and over 80% of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from unvaccinated people, Dr. Cary Ward with CHI Health hopes FDA approval encourages more folks to get the jab.
“My hope is that this will make many that were on the fence feel much more comfortable, that they now finally have the data, now we have information to go on, now feel much more comfortable getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Ward.
Others like Dr. James Lawler, an infectious disease expert at UNMC, hope the approval pushes back on all the misinformation floating on social media.
“We have no evidence that there are long-term consequences or effects on reproductive health or any of the other rumors that have circulated on the internet,” said Lawler.
Lawler is also continuing to push for businesses and schools to mandate vaccines for employees, customers, and students — hoping that the University of Nebraska system requires students to get vaccinated.
“So I think that’s an effective tool to help create a safer campus environment,” said Lawler.
The clinical trial from Pfizer showed the vaccine is 91% effective in preventing COVID-19