‘Today is the day’ for Ohioans waiting for COVID-19 vaccine approval, Vanderhoff says

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said today is the day for people waiting to get vaccinated following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“For any Ohioan who has been waiting to receive the vaccine until full approval is granted, today is the day,” he said. “Pfizer vaccines are readily available at providers across the state, and COVID-19 vaccines are our best protection against the virus.”

ExploreUS regulators give full approval to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

On Monday, the FDA gave full approval for the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and older. With the delta variant pushing an increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations, some health experts and officials are hopeful the announcement will encourage more vaccinations.

“The FDA granting full approval to Pfizer’s #COVID19 vaccine for those 16+ is good news!” Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted. “With this strong endorsement, we hope to see many more Ohioans get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.”

“For some time, I have said I believe it is a matter of when, not if, the Pfizer vaccine receives full FDA approval,” Vanderhoff said. “Now, that day has come. Full approval of this safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine can give Ohioans an added layer of confidence when choosing to be vaccinated. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was built upon decades of research on mRNA vaccines, and was thoroughly evaluated and tested in one of the largest vaccine clinical trials in history.”

More than 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine has been administered in the U.S. and 6 million in Ohio, he said.

“This action by the FDA validates the confidence of so many physicians, scientists, and public health experts in the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” Vanverhoff added.

Currently children ages 12 to 15 can receive the Pfizer vaccine under the FDA’s emergency use authorization. Vanderhoff said Monday he believes full approval for the vaccine in ages 12-15 is coming.

ExploreOhio daily COVID-19 vaccines gradually increase in August

The state’s vaccination rate has gradually been increasing this month after Ohio saw a lull in the late spring and early summer.

On Sunday, Ohio reported more than 7,000 first doses administered in the last 24 hours, according to ODH. Between Monday and Friday last week, about 9,000 to 10,000 people were starting the vaccine each day.

Vanderhoff said he’s encouraged by the recent increase in vaccinations, noting that Ohio is approaching the 60% mark in residents 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the state,” Vadnerhoff said. “Many providers offer walk-in appointments, or Ohioans can schedule a vaccination appointment at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohioans who want to learn more about the safety, efficacy, and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine to learn more.”

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