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FDA final approval may boost confidence in COVID-19 vaccines

East Las Vegas vax clinic
Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 22:09:01-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A major step forward. The Food and Drug Administration giving full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older. This comes as efforts continue to get more people vaccinated.

It’s a busy Monday at the pop-up vaccination clinic in east Las Vegas. Dozens of people are ready to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’d rather have my kids healthy and me healthy too so I can be around for my kids.”

Tamber Clark is getting the shot to keep her kids safe and it comes as the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older. She says it’s welcome news.

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“That’s good because a lot of people wasn’t getting them. So if it’s FDA approved, they get approved for it, they can get their shots and be healthy and safe for their kids.”

Public health officials say that final approval could provide a boost of confidence in the vaccines and help tackle any hesitancy.

“This is just one more thing that we can do to dispel some of those myths that people have regarding whether or not this vaccine was tested adequately or whether or not it’s safe,” Dr. Christina Madison, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Roseman University

Polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed almost one-third of unvaccinated people said they would be more inclined to get a shot if there’s full approval. Some doctors say that may be just one of a variety of reasons why someone might not be getting the vaccine.

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“I don’t expect to see a giant surge where we’re going to see a jump of 20 percent in our vaccination numbers over the next few days, but it may drive some people to finally get vaccinated,” Dr. Brian Labus, a health professor from UNLV, said.

The Pfizer vaccine remains under emergency use authorization for 12 to 15-year olds, but doctors says it won’t be long before there’s full approval for that age group.

“We haven’t had the vaccine authorized for the 12 and up population as long. So that really is what it comes back to is the time,” Dr. Madison said.

Clark says getting the shot now was the right decision for her with the FAD approval giving her added assurance.

“At first I didn’t think it was safe but if the FDA approved it now, then I know it’s safe, so I’d rather get it now since I know everything’s going to be okay,” she said.