TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) – United States regulators have given full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, and local health care leaders say this could be a game changer in the fight against the virus.
Last December the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana. Originally, the vaccine was authorized for emergency use, but now that has changed.
“To get the FDA approval means that people have safely been getting the vaccine over the last eight months or so have been doing predominantly well with the vaccine. It’s accomplishing its goal to prevent severe disease,” said Dr. Loren Robinson vise president and chief medical officer with the CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System.
Over the past couple of months, the vaccination rate had slowed down, but Robinson believes the FDA decision will see COVID vaccinations pick up.
“A lot of folks decided ‘I’m not going to get the vaccine until the FDA issues that full approval’ and now that full approval has come, we know we will be able to vaccinate more people. And some of the people concerned about that vaccine will now seek to get vaccinated,” said Robinson.
With the possible increase of people seeking the vaccine, Robinson said the availability for the COVID vaccine in the area is plentiful.
“The good thing about the FDA approval, and being in a small area, is several pharmacies in our area have the vaccine available,” said Robinson.
Health leaders say around 30,000 doses of vaccines have been administered through the Christus St. Michael Health System.
The FDA approval is for patients 16 and older, but Robinson says they still encourage those 12 and up to get the shot.
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