DENVER — Since the Pfizer vaccine was granted Emergency Use Authorization, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working on full approval of the vaccine — a process filled with research and analysis.
"There is a shocking amount of scrutiny down to the molecule, down the decimal, every data point," said Dr. Richard Zane, chief innovation officer and chief of emergency services for UCHealth.
Zane said full approval of the Pfizer vaccine could boost vaccination rates.
"If FDA approval helps you make that decision, then please make that decision. If you are still hesitant, please contact me and I would be happy to walk you through it," Zane said.
For people in Denver who are already vaccinated, increased vaccination rates could make it easier for life to go on normally.
"The safer it is to do things outdoors and in big groups then the more these things will open up and they’ll have full capacity and we can enjoy the things we love to do in Colorado," said resident Alan Descroches.
Resident Jonah Hughes agrees and adds FDA approval will allow people who were waiting for this moment to take the step to get vaccinated.
"I think it is going to separate people who are anti-vax entirely versus people who just want to see some FDA clearance on this vaccine, so I think it is going to be a positive thing," Hughes said.
At the same time, FDA approval also paves the way for public and private organizations to implement vaccination requirements and mandates.
"Private businesses have mandated it without FDA approval. There are some businesses that have said that they would feel more comfortable mandating, requiring, vaccinations after FDA approval, but FDA approval doesn’t change it — it just makes it easier," said Zane.
Doctors are hoping this approval will save countless lives in the months ahead.
"Vaccines are safe. These vaccines are incredibly safe, almost miraculous. They may save your life and if it doesn’t save your life, then it is going to save someone else’s life because you were vaccinated," said Zane.
FDA approval for Pfizer’s vaccine is expected this week. Regulators are still reviewing Moderna’s application for full approval.