With FDA approval, health officials hoping more Americans will get vaccinated

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The FDA has given full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Now, the organization hopes that will lift public confidence.

The U.S. becomes the first country to fully approve the shot. It was previously only authorized for emergency use. However, will it be enough to convince people to get vaccinated?

Vaccine hesitancy has been a major hurdle of getting all eligible Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus. Only around 60 percent of adults aged 18 and over have been fully vaccinated, even as the new Delta variant spreads across the nation.

Full approval of Pfizer’s shot now makes it easier for physicians to prescribe a third booster shot to people who could benefit from an additional dose. People though are still skeptical.

“I’ve already thought of it, and I thought of it multiple times, and I don’t plan on getting it anytime soon,” said Rosa Alonzo of Springfield.

The FDA said the vaccine is safe and effective and has spent months reviewing data from a randomized, controlled ongoing clinical trial of thousands of individuals. Based on results from the trial, the vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 disease.

“We still feel the most important thing is to get unvaccinated people vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,” said Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

The FDA also authorized Pfizer’s shot as a booster for people with weakened immune systems. People can begin getting those booster shots eight month after their second shot. Moderna has also applied to the FDA for full approval of its vaccine. Johnson & Johnson said it hopes to do so later this year.

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