Doctor answers your questions about COVID-19 vaccine, FDA approval
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The FDA now fully approved of the Pfizer vaccine, but some still have questions before they get vaccinated.
Dr. Paul Bolin is the chair of internal medicine at the ECU Brody School of Medicine who has been heavily involved in getting people vaccinated and has had a hand in various scientific trials about the vaccine. He sat down with us to answer your questions.
Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine still considered experimental?
A: “No, not according to our standards in the United States,” said Dr. Bolin. “What we now have with the Pfizer, and this will soon be followed by other vaccines, is the complete approval by the FDA...this is historically one of the most conservative approval processes of any country on Earth.”
Q: Do we know if there are long-term effects of the vaccine?
A: “No, we don’t know long term beyond a year...[but] we now have well over a billion people that have been [vaccinated], doses that have been given of the vaccine. So, the volume of exposure is huge. The long-term effects are much safer than the concerning long-term effects of getting the virus,” said Bolin.
Q: If someone can catch and spread the virus while vaccinated, why should they get a vaccine?
A: “We know that in hospitals anywhere from 99% to 90% of the people with COVID in the hospital...are those who are unvaccinated. So, the vaccine does what it was meant to do. It prevents death and hospitalization. It is very, very good at preventing those severe complications,” explained Bolin.
We also asked Pitt County health director Dr. John Silvernail about the unlikely event of an adverse reaction or death from the vaccine.
Q: What laws are in place when it comes to claiming responsibility or providing compensation for victims in this situation?
A: “There’s something called the PREP Act that offers protections to the providers who administer vaccines during a pandemic. Then there’s another act called the Vaccine Compensation Act that provides compensation to those who may be harmed by a vaccination,” said Silvernail.
More answers to your questions, like what is in the vaccine and what are the side effects, can be found on the CDC’s website.
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