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Jacksonville hospital says some requesting COVID-19 vaccine before its arrival

FDA working 'rapidly' to authorize vaccine
FDA working 'rapidly' to authorize vaccine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Health care workers have a big message to the public: Do not come to the hospital right now and ask for the COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s already happened at UF Health Jacksonville ahead of the vaccine’s rollout.

On Friday, the FDA released a statement saying “It’s working rapidly toward finalizing and issuing the emergency use authorization.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee met to give final recommendations as to who should get the vaccine first.

In the end, it comes down to the FDA approving it and the states deciding who gets it first.”

What do we know about Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine?

  • It’s meant for people 16 and older
  • It’s a two series shot
  • It’s found to be 95% effective in late-stage trials
  • The most common side effects are headache, fatigue and body aches

“There are still some unanswered questions that they have put out to the FDA and Pfizer particularly regarding the efficacy in teenagers and children, those who are pregnant and breast feeding and those who have allergies,” said Chad Nielsen with UF Health Jacksonville

Neilsen says of people who fall into the above category:

“The next step is to patient. This is something that on the scale of history in the United States this has never been done at this kind of speed before and that’s not to say that it was done sloppily. This is basically to say that from a year when we learned about this infection to the point where we are about to get vaccines into arms - this has never been done before.”

It is common for medical professionals to recommend a group of people not to take a vaccine or certain medication. It’s the same way they don’t recommend pregnant women smoke or drink.

“This is very common It’s just making news now because the inclination for the public is to think that a vaccine is out, it’s due, everyone should go out and get it. But just like every vaccine and medication, it’s not meant for everyone until the safety data is very robust and we can prove it can be taken by everyone safely,” Neilsen said.

Neilsen’s take away from the FDA panels approval?

“Largely the takeaway is, look, this is going to work for the majority of people out there who are going to suffer from this disease and that’s a great thing,” he said.

Pfizer’s study does not end if the FDA gives it an emergency use authorization.

We are going to learn more about the vaccine and the other vaccines in the pipeline, but it’s the job of the FDA to decide if the benefit outweighs the risk.

Likely - the FDA will decide it does.


About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.