Local health officials react to Pfizer FDA approval

Health officials in Middle Georgia hope more people will get vaccinated now.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Pfizer vaccine got full Food and Drug Administration approval Monday morning for people over the age of 16.

Health officials in Middle Georgia hope more people will get vaccinated now. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, 42% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

We spoke with Michael Hokanson, Public Information Officer for North Central Health District. He says the biggest benefit of vaccination is reducing your risk of hospitalization.

“Vaccinated individuals are not the ones taking up hospital beds right now,” he said. “We know that there’s a huge strain on our hospital system, so those that are considering vaccination, make this be the thing that changes your mind. Make this be the thing that makes you take the step to help the community.”

Dr. Patrice Walker, Chief Medical Officer for Atrium Health Navicent, says she was excited to hear the news. Dr. Walker says most of their COVID patients are not vaccinated.

“Our hope is that now that we have an option for that, we’ll see more people registering to get vaccinated,” Dr. Walker said. “Hopefully that will help with some of the hesitancy that we’ve seen.”

Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, an Infectious Disease Physician for Piedmont Macon, says they have about 100 patients at Piedmont Macon admitted for COVID. She’s hoping more people will get vaccinated now and says it’s frustrating that more people haven’t been vaccinated yet.

“I mean it’s frustrating to see people getting sick,” Dr. Hoffman said. “It’s frustrating to see people gasping for air and getting intubated, when in most cases that didn’t really have to happen.”

If you decide you do want to get the Pfizer vaccine:

  • You can go to Vaccines.gov
    • Type in your zip code
    • Select the option for the Pfizer vaccine and places that have appointments available.
Categories: Bibb County, COVID-19, Featured, Happening Now, Health, Local News, Medical, WMGT

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