Gov. McMaster says ‘South Carolinians can be even more confident’ in Pfizer vaccine after full FDA approval

South Carolina News

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in West Columbia, S.C. As of Monday, McMaster says all businesses will be allowed to be open, as long as they adhere to social distancing and capacity limits. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster says the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine should give South Carolinians more confidence in getting inoculated against the virus.

The FDA handed down that approval Monday morning. Health officials believe the approval will convince more unvaccinated Americans that Pfizer’s shot is safe and effective and make officials more comfortable implementing vaccine mandates.

“South Carolinians can be even more confident that the vaccine is safe and effective,” said Gov. McMaster on Twitter. “I encourage those who want to get a vaccine to get one as soon as possible.”

Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Dr. Edward Simmer, said full FDA approval for the vaccine “further indicates how safe and effective the vaccines are at preventing severe illness from COVID-19.”

There is still an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those ages 12-15, and an EUA for the Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines for those ages 18 and older. 

Dr. Simmer noted the key difference between full approval and an EUA is the length of time spent studying those who have received the vaccine, including a longer review period of data associated with any adverse events.

“Anyone who has remained hesitant about the vaccines should use this full approval as motivation to get the two-dose Pfizer vaccine as soon as possible,” said Dr. Simmer.

He says full FDA approval supports the fact that the purpose of any vaccine is to protect human health and save lives.

Gov. McMaster encouraged all citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19 during a press conference earlier this month, but said those who are hesitant should first discuss it with their family members and doctors.

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