St. Vincent Medical Center doctor hopes full COVID vaccine FDA approval leads to heightened confidence


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has kept rates low recently, even in some parts of Connecticut. One survey revealed that 30% of unvaccinated people said they will get the shot if it gets official approval from the FDA.

Connecticut hospitals are admitting more COVID patients once again throughout August and most are unvaccinated.

Saint Vincent’s Medical Center Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Daniel Gottschall says the vaccine has been proven to work.

“It prevents people from coming to the hospital, going to the intensive care unit, being on a breathing machine, and certainly death,” says Dr. Gottschall.

Three COVID vaccines currently have FDA emergency use authorization. That approval required extensive phase-three trials involving 30,000 people.

“The EAU means we weren’t experimenting with people, that we knew that there was some strong safety to it. The FDA approval just takes it to the next level.” Dr. Gottschall says it means they have more data that the vaccines are safe.

The FDA is currently fast-tracking its vaccine approval process, with all hands on deck to complete its reviews of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Johnson & Johnson has not yet filed for full FDA approval of its coronavirus vaccine. Approval could come around Labor Day or early fall in the U.S.

Dr. Gottschall says people choosing to be unvaccinated are putting not just themselves at risk.

“They’re allowing the virus to live on, which is allowing the change and mutation of the virus which is developing all of these variants which we’re concerned about now.

And he recommends that parents get eligible children also not wait – to get their kids vaccinated before school starts because children can bring the virus home to infect loved ones.

“The more that virus is bouncing around the more likely we are to see infections that cause significant harm.”

Full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines would also change the landscape for employers and municipalities in how to handle vaccine mandates, opening the door for more.

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