Medical Leaders in Nebraska Applaud FDA's Pfizer Approval

Aug. 23, 2021, 4:45 p.m. ·

Dr. James Lawler
Dr. James Lawler with the University of Nebaska Medial Center. (Photo from Zoom)

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Medical leaders in Nebraska are applauding the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for people 16 years and older, a move they say should make Nebraskans even more confident in its effectiveness.

The FDA’s move in essence confirms the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective and no longer an experimental protection against COIVD-19. Dr. James Lawler with the University of Nebraska Medical Center said Monday nearly 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been given in the United States with no indication they cause widespread, long-term harm.

“I hope this will be a step forward for people who have been waiting to get the vaccine and this will provide greater further confidence for them that the vaccine is safe and effective, and I hope this will be an important step forward for the United States and for our community in Nebraska to increase vaccination rates,” Lawler said.

Dr. Cary Ward is the Chief Medical Officer with CHI Health and said the FDA’s move is pivotal as communities fight the latest wave of the disease.

“We’re thrilled. We’re extremely pleased that this finally has FDA approval,” Ward said Monday. “This is a milestone in the course of this disease.”

Ward expects more workplaces and schools to mandate COVID vaccines now that the FDA has confirmed Pfizer’s shot is safe for people 16 years and older.

“Even though we respect there are reasons why some people don’t believe in mandates, this adds more credibility to that decision that we’re trying to do what’s in the best interest of our employees, our patients and the population.”

Young people between 12 and 15 years old can still get the Pfizer vaccine under the FDA’s emergency authorization.