COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Now that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) panel authorized Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, many health care workers are rejoicing.
Dr. Jesse Couk says in his medical career, he has never seen anything quite like the coronavirus. Despite the FDA’s rush to use the EUA on Pfizer’s vaccine approved late Thursday afternoon, he along with other healthcare workers are hopeful that this vaccine will bring some much-needed relief to a global pandemic.
“I wake up every morning and go into work and see it all around you,” Couk said. “It is just completely heartbreaking.”
Healthcare providers are preparing to receive shipments of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, produced by Pfizer and Bio-N-Tech.
After an eight-month battle on the frontlines against COVID-19 Couk says there is a discussion of how to distribute the vaccine to the public and who should receive it first.
“That may look something like a lottery where everyone who has exposure to COVID-19 and wearing N95 masks, and putting themselves in harm’s way will have access to the vaccine,” Couk said.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has also been vocal about making sure the distribution efforts include Georgia’s most vulnerable residents.
“That means residents of nursing homes and healthcare workers,” Kemp said.
In a clinical trial review of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by the New England Journal of Medicine, it proved to be 94 percent effective.
“You can really see a clear separation between the people who received the vaccine versus those who received a placebo,” Couk said.
There has been some skepticism surrounding the side effects of this vaccine, due to its fast production process, but Couk says they are relatively mild, according to a clinical study.
“About 10 percent of individuals had a fever” he said.
Couk says he has not been told a specific date of when the vaccine will be distributed, but now he can continue to battle the pandemic with the hope of brighter days to come.
“The vaccine just brings a sense of hope that was not here in March,” he said.
Medical professionals say it could take years for the world to develop herd immunity even after the vaccine is made available to the public. But with at least 3,000 people in America dying a day due to COVID-19, they now have another tool to battle the pandemic.