On Monday, August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older. This means the FDA has completed an extremely rigorous review of data that confirms the vaccine meets the highest standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spike, this authorization is bringing hope for Conway Medical Center. “The surge we are seeing is disheartening for our employees who have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, Chief Medical Officer at CMC. “We’re seeing numbers that rival those at the height of the pandemic last year and of the inpatient numbers, a very small percentage are vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to saving lives and regaining some normalcy in our daily lives.”
Built upon decades of research on mRNA vaccines, months of studies and more than 165 million people receiving a COVID-19 shot, the FDA had an abundance of information substantiating the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine to support full FDA approval. “I’ve been following the research and the data is clear,” stressed Dr. Richardson. “There is no doubt whatsoever that patients who get vaccinated against the Coronavirus do better clinically. Period.”
Conway Medical Center was the first in the state to administer the Pfizer vaccine in South Carolina on December 14, 2020, under the FDA’s emergency use authorization, and has continued to offer it to the public based on CDC and SCDHEC guidance.
“Thousands of people in our community have already been vaccinated, but not enough,” said Dr. Richardson. We hope that the FDA’s approval will give more people the confidence to get vaccinated. The vaccines work. They save lives and every single dose counts for all of us.”