AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Now that the FDA approved one COVID vaccine, we took a look at whether this means more people may raise their sleeves for a shot.
MedNow on Washington Road is one of the busy healthcare facilities testing people for COVID in Augusta. So, CEO and Medical Director Dr. Mark Newton said he’s hoping this new approval status will encourage more people to get vaccinated.
We hit the streets to find out if the news swayed people.
“That’s a good idea,” said Montego Griffin, of Augusta. “I need to be vaccinated.”
Glenn Ritchie added, “There’s too much conflicting information. I don’t think the powers that be have been honest from the front, so I don’t know what’s real or what’s not, so I’m not interested.”
What does it mean for you to hear FDA approval? Have you been sharing this with your friends and family?
Stribling Marion said, “No, I haven’t been sharing it, but to me as soon as it came out I went ahead and got it.”
Ryan Thompson, of Augusta, told us, “Now they say they taking horse medication. They’d rather go take a shot for that instead of taking a vaccination for the virus. I don’t understand what motivates people. “
Health experts say FDA approval means the government agency determined the benefits of the product outweigh the known risks for the intended use. Dr. Newton said it’s a step in the right direction and he said there was more time spent looking at unintended consequences of the vaccine.
“If there is someone who was looking out there waiting for FDA approval, if that was their hang up, I think this is encouraging,” Dr. Newton told us.
He also said people take FDA approval for granted, not giving much thought to the fact that it happens. He added that vaccines have become political too, but people should recall that both major political parties have played a part in vaccines. Operation Warp Speed started last year under a Republican president while the vaccine is receiving full FDA approval under a Democrat.
But over at Augusta University, Dr. Joshua Wyche said while the vaccination numbers may not spike, the new status could help people still doubting.
“I do think it will have a significant impact on people who may be on the fence and were waiting on that full FDA approval because they didn’t feel confident with the EUA,” said Dr. Wyche, AU Health’s Assistant VP, Strategic Planning & Pharmacy Services.
But some people may have not realized that a lot of products they use come with FDA approval. Foods, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, surgical implants and cosmetics are some. On the other hand, Dr. Wyche said some products you use are not FDA approved, like some prescription drugs people take.
“A medication that’s being used for a condition that it’s not being approved to treat,” he said. “It’s also when a medication is dosed differently. There is a medication used for diabetes called Metformin. What we found with Metformin is in addition to helping diabetes, one of the ways it helps is it suppresses appetite.”
The other two vaccines Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have emergency use authorization. Moderna has applied for full FDA approval and Johnson and Johnson is expected to do the same.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps