Local Health Officials Hope To See More Vaccinations After FDA Fully Approves Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine

Monday, August 23rd 2021, 4:28 pm
By: Hunter McKee

Monday was a big day for the fight against COVID-19 as the FDA granted full approval for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. 

This as the state health department reports 1,400 Oklahomans hospitalized with COVID-19.

Local health experts think full approval could sway many Oklahomans to get the vaccine.

"Up to 31% of people who were concerned about getting the vaccination used the lack of FDA approval as the main reason they weren't getting it," said Dr. David Chansolme with Integris.

However, Chansolme and other health professionals around the state hope this approval can change that notion.

"I think there are many reasons people have made the decision not to get," said Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed. "I think this is an opportunity to remove one of those reasons."

More than 200 million Pfizer doses have already been administered in the U.S.

According to Pfizer, the U.S. is now the first country to fully approve the shot. 

As of last week, more than 41% of Oklahomans are fully vaccinated.

"We still see a lot of patients in the hospital," said Chansolme. "If you compare that to the general population, the percentage of people that we see in the hospital that are vaccinated is significantly less."

Two state representatives said they don't foresee any legislation being put in place. However, they do think privately-owned businesses could put mandates in place.