Health Department Reacts to FDA Approval of Pfizer Vaccine
It was announced on Monday that the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
Missoula City County Health Department COVID-19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr provided the reaction by local health officials.
“Today the FDA gave full approval to the first COVID 19 vaccine, which was Pfizer in individuals ages 16 and up,” said Farr. “The licensing application included more than 340,000 pages worth of material which was about three times as much material that the research was showing than what they actually presented when they applied for emergency use authorization.”
Farr said the Pfizer vaccine is by far and away the most used vaccine around the world.
“Today the company has manufactured more than 2 billion doses of vaccine with over 200 million administered in the United States, which is the most of any of the three vaccines that are currently allowed for use in the United States,” she said. “So it's exciting news that it's gotten full FDA approval now.”
Farr said the approval takes away one more objection from Missoula residents that said the vaccine was experimental in nature and had not been officially approved by the FDA. She said the approval is timely due to the rapid rise in Missoula cases.
“Something that I don't think that people really realize is that when we're talking about hospital capacity, if our hospitals are so full with COVID patients, then we could end up in a situation which is what we're seeing in other parts of the country where people are turned away for emergency services or there's just not a bed available for someone who has a heart attack or has a stroke or needs other types of care,” she said.
Farr was also asked about an Associated Press story indicating that Montana is the only state that has legally forbidden a vaccination mandate, and that many health groups have appealed to the legislature to overturn the law signed by Governor Gianforte.
“We have not weighed in on it, but we are really pleased to see the support for trying to have the legislature go back and revisit that law that was put into place,” she said. “Vaccination is one of the best things that we can do to protect ourselves and protect our community, and so having a law in place that says that workplaces are not allowed to make their employees be vaccinated definitely is concerning for public health.”
KGVO has reached out to Governor Gianforte’s office for a comment on the effort to overturn House Bill 702.
There will be a press conference in the Governor's office at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.