Pfizer’s COVID vaccine earned full approval from the FDA, but medical professionals say that won’t necessarily be enough to convince hesitant people to get their shots.
“When you ask the question, ‘What is it going to take for you to get the vaccine?’ sometimes we do get the answer, ‘If someone makes me,’” says Executive Administrator Felipe Osorno at Keck Medicine of USC.
Osorno holds town hall meetings to help educate LA residents about the COVID vaccine and quell any fears. He says even though COVID vaccines have been available for months, he still hears old misinformation.
“Folks were still wondering whether the vaccine would change their DNA, or whether they were going to get a chip inserted through it,” he says. “I do hope that the full FDA approval will convince more folks and get us closer to more and more Angelenos getting vaccinated so we can beat this pandemic.”
He says he encourages unvaccinated people to consider getting the shot to keep young children safe, since there is still no vaccine approved for children under 12. He says the best way to protect children like his two young daughters is if adults get their shots.
“Trust me, as a health care provider, it's very tough having to go through a third surge in LA, which we know was preventable if we had higher vaccine rates.”
At the very least, the full FDA approval will make it easier for schools and employers to require vaccines, which Osorno says might be the only remaining way to get vaccines into the most hesitant Angelenos.