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After FDA Gives Full Approval To Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine, Some Hope More People Will Get Their Shots

 A couple of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at the Miami Dade College North Campus, sitting on a sheet of paper that reads Pfizer, at a FEMA-supported site for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Verónica Zaragovia
A couple of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at the Miami Dade College North Campus, a FEMA-supported site for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Dozens of doctors in Palm Beach County gathered at a parking lot this morning to announce their frustration with people who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The physicians who work at medical centers and hospitals did not leave any patients unattended, and instead gathered outside of their shifts.

"We’ve had enough, and we’re pushed to the max," said Dr. Jennifer Buczyner, a neurologist who helped organize the event as a way to stand together and get their message out urging people to get inoculated.

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Buczyner told WLRN that she hopes Monday's full approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will motivate people to get their shots and eliminate an excuse not to get vaccinated. She wants people to know that the vaccines do not cause infertility and do not have any microchips in them — some of the misinformation from social media that people commonly cite to her.

"Our hospitals are full, all of our supplies are running lower, and if we’re each seeing 20 to 25 patients a day in our office and having these conversations, it’s an exhausting conversation to do 25 times a day," Buczyner said.

Justin Senior, chief executive officer of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, also hopes the FDA approval helps reduce the unvaccinated patient volume across the state.

"I would hope that this also convinces the public of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and it induces more people to go out and get the shot," Senior told WLRN. "The vaccines work. You can see it in the hospitalization numbers. These vaccines prevent hospitalization and prevent the most severe outcomes. They definitely do."

Facilities that provide health care, like hospitals and nursing homes, don’t usually require staff to get vaccines that only have emergency use authorization. Now, after the FDA approval, Senior expects more vaccine mandates at workplaces like these.

Jackson Health System in Miami set today, Aug. 23, as the deadline for employees, students and vendors to get at least the first COVID-19 vaccine shot for the two-dose vaccines. They have until September 30th to finish the vaccination.

Verónica Zaragovia was born in Cali, Colombia, and grew up in South Florida. She’s been a lifelong WLRN listener and is proud to cover health care, as well as Surfside and Miami Beach politics for the station. Contact Verónica at vzaragovia@wlrnnews.org
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