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Northern Light Health officials respond to FDA Pfizer vaccine approval

Dr. James Jarvis
Dr. James Jarvis(WABI)
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer for those 16 and older.

Northern Light Health officials responded to the news on Monday.

Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health addressed misgivings among some of the unvaccinated about the Pfizer vaccine being administered without FDA approval.

He said the medical community has been waiting for this approval and hopes it will change some minds.

“We hope that that will encourage many of the unvaccinated individuals who were either concerned that the clinical studies weren’t done over a long enough period of time -they were- or that they weren’t were reviewed in an efficient manner- they were. This is really just the bureaucratic paperwork that needs to be done for something to get full approval. The emergency use authorization came in because we were in a critical crisis, and it was not that they cut any particular processes. It wasn’t that they were looking at more data. It was that very much of paperwork process, because it is a big deal when the FDA gives final approval,” Jarvis said.

A year ago at this time, the positivity rate for COVID tests across the Northern Light System was was one-half of one-percent.

Over the last two weeks, that positivity rate has shot to 7.19%

“This delta variant is so much more contagious or spreadable from one person to another, that it’s causing us to kind of have a slip back and only vaccination can help to prevent that from happening any further. But this is taxing our system. And so everything that people can do to help limit the spread of this disease, it helps us in our health care workers. I can tell you many of them are disheartened to see what we’re seeing now, when we thought we had been through all this last winter,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said Northern Light isn’t putting off other medical procedures while its hospitals continue to see more COVID patients but added it will be something they’ll have to consider if cases continue to rise. Something he says could be avoided, especially with the Pfizer vaccine’s FDA approval.

“I’m very hopeful that this will be the thing that convinces a few more people to get vaccinated. Every one more person who gets vaccinated puts the rest of us in a safer position,” Jarvis said.

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