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Doctor reacts to Pfizer vaccine news: 'We're beginning to enter a new phase where we have a lot of hope'

Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 23:30:20-05

As news broke that a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee endorsed Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine healthcare workers reacted saying it is a big moment.

"We're excited about the vaccine reaching that next step," said Dr. Matt Anderson, Senior Medical Director for Primary Care at UW Health.

"I think we're beginning to enter a new phase where we have a lot of hope because we have something that can prevent this illness," said Dr. Brad Burmeister, an Emergency Physician in Green Bay and member of the Wisconsin Medical Society's COVID-19 Task Force.

Pfizer's vaccine will be transported from Pleasant Prairie by UPS. Some healthcare systems anticipate to have them by next week.

UW-Health will serve as one of the state's hubs that will store Pfizer's vaccine.

"I think what the FDA is saying is the vaccine is safe and effective to be able to move forward and very reasonable for us to do so," said Dr. Anderson.

Wisconsin expects to receive enough supply to vaccinate about 65,000 people with frontline healthcare workers and people who live in nursing homes at the front of the line.

Ann Lewandowski, a founder of the Wisconsin Immunization Neighborhood, added clear and consistent communication surrounding the vaccine will be key moving forward.

"I think communicating to the public the reasons for the phasing and the where we are in the phasing is really important. The other part that I think is very important is communicating about adverse events because people don't understand them," said Lewandowski.

As exciting as the vaccine news is doctors stressed we are not out of the woods yet, and people should not let their guard down.

"Even though we have this vaccine coming it's really important to continue to invest in those public health measures we've been practicing of wearing a mask, staying at home if you can, social distancing because it's gonna be months before we have large portions of the community vaccinated," said Dr. Burmeister.

The vaccine is not expected to be more widely available to the public until at least the spring.

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