What you need to know after the FDA’s Advisory Committee voted yes on Pfizer’s vaccine

Posted at 3:35 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 17:44:27-05

(WXYZ) — Twenty-two members of the FDA’s Advisory Committee voted yes on recommending Pfizer’s experimental coronavirus vaccine for people aged 16 and over.

This is great news and I’m super excited to be sharing this. The meeting yesterday for the Vaccines and Related Biologics Products Advisory Committee went quite long. Pfizer’s scientists were there and they presented data showing how their vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

They also showed how it was safe and effective for different age groups, people from different ethnic backgrounds, and for folks who have underlying health conditions. What’s great about this meeting is that it allowed committee members to ask specific questions, get more details, and discuss any concerns they had. At the end of the day, the committee voted 17 to 4 - with one abstention - in favor of recommending that the FDA grant Pfizer emergency use authorization for their vaccine candidate.

There were concerns regarding the allergic reactions that I recently talked about. Where two healthcare workers in the United Kingdom experienced adverse reactions - both of them recovered with no issues.

It really was not surprising that some of the committee members wanted more information. The FDA did say that they are aware of the reports of anaphylactic shock and are monitoring the situation. They also noted that if the vaccine is approved, it would come with a warning - that anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction in the past should skip this particular vaccine.

That is until more information is gathered. Now, another concern centered around 16 and 17-year-olds. Some of the committee members felt that there was not sufficient data. Mostly because there were too few of this age group in the study. The members felt raising the age to 18 and older would be more appropriate.

The response to this was that Pfizer does have an ongoing study that includes kids as young as 12. So in the near future, they will have more data regarding the vaccine in younger populations. And lastly, one more key concern was whether or not this vaccine can actually lower transmission rates. It’s been shown to block COVID-19 symptoms - but what about actually stopping the spread of the virus? So Pfizer was urged to find answers to that question.

We do need - at a minimum – 70% of our population to be vaccinated in order for us to reach herd immunity. So we are not expecting any real impact for several months. Experts say that if all goes well, we might be able to return to some sort of normal sometime this summer, possibly by fall 2021.

For those who worry about the vaccine, bottom line is that we know there are some “unknowns.” But you’ve got to look at how bad the pandemic is right now. Cases, unfortunately, continue to rise. Right now, we need to do what we can to keep Americans from getting sick, from suffering long-term health issues, and from dying. At this moment, it looks like the benefits of this vaccine - shown to be safe and effective - far outweigh the risks that come from getting infected.

This week on the Dr. Nandi Show - three special guests whose lives were changed after following 5 steps to better health. Judy shed 30 pounds, Patty’s stress turned into peace, and Greg’s depression led him to find his true purpose in life. Would you like to learn how they achieved these inspiring results? And find out how you too can change your life around and become your own health hero? Then watch Dr. Nandi to hear his personal 5 key pillars to becoming your own health hero. Tune in this Sunday, December 13th at 5 pm.

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