Pfizer vaccine gets full FDA approval, local doctor doesn’t believe more people will get it

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The Food and Drug Administration giving full approval to Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is what many in health care expected, but will that lead more people to getting their shot?

“This will push people over the edge to go get the vaccine because it is our, our best protection,” Former Acting FDA Commissioner Retired Admiral Brett Giroir said.

That may not be the case in North Dakota and Minnesota.

“I don’t want to be skeptical, but I don’t expect a huge surge in people who would want to get a vaccine just based on FDA approval,” Sanford Health Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Avish Nagpal said.

He explains patients usually have a number of reasons they won’t get their shot and the news from the FDA probably won’t change their minds. Some may be people only having mild symptoms or not want to miss a paycheck because they have to quarantine.

Dr. Nagpal points out the FDA is confident in the vaccine by giving it full approval.

“Vaccines are the most highly regulated products on the planet across any industry, so now that we have full FDA approval, there is no argument not to get a vaccine,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Another problem is false information flooding people’s social media and articles they read.

“Just like a pandemic, misinformation can go viral too and that’s what we are seeing here. Simple facts and simple statistics don’t generate as much interest. They’re complicated, they’re boring, they require time and unfortunately time is not what most people have on their hand,” Dr. Nagpal explained.

Despite a lull in new cases in our area a couple months ago, we’re seeing a rise in people getting infected. The CDC’s level of community transmission is in the high risk category for a big part of our area, which is seen in red on this map. On Monday, North Dakota had a 11.34 percent daily positivity rate, but that might not tell the entire story.

“Many people who have been exposed have not been tested,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Dr. Nagpal says Sanford Health could struggle over the next couple of months with hospital beds and ventilators if transmission rates don’t go down.

Dr. Nagpal believes clinical trials in children younger than 12 could be completed in next couple of months and approved by the end of the year.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-MN, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News