Full FDA approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for everyone ages 16 and older was tremendous news this week! This is a landmark moment in the fight against the global pandemic, and we are hopeful that this will move those who are eligible but hesitant to be vaccinated. Any increase in vaccinations will help. With the FDA approval, the Pfizer Vaccine is now in the company of other vaccines that we typically accept without much controversy, such as those to prevent polio, whooping cough and tetanus. (Side note: The vaccine will be marketed as Comirnaty. For those of you who like words as much as I do, this is an interesting article about the naming and pronunciation of Comirnaty.)
The FDA approval comes at a crucial moment. Between the latest surge in the virus and our depleted work force, our health care system has been pushed to its breaking point. Hospitals and ICUs are dangerously full. Patients requiring hospitalization from COVID-19 are overwhelmingly unvaccinated, which adds frustration. We urge members to tell the story of the severe illness hitting unvaccinated people. We also have had members share with their communities the irony that those who rejected vaccine as “experimental” or “unproven” are pleading for any treatment possible when they become ill – including those treatments that are experimental and unproven.
We look forward to more FDA approvals to come, and to making the vaccine available to children under 12.
WSHA President & CEO