MILWAUKEE - As thousands of people in Wisconsin are diagnosed with COVID-19, and nearly two dozen die, each day, infection rates are prompting doctors to continue to speak out.
Dr. Ada Stewart, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, wants people to turn words into action.
"We have seen with this pandemic a large amount of individuals have lost their lives who are sickened with COVID-19, and we have now a weapon to be able to combat it; we have the vaccination," Stewart said.
With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's full approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for Americans ages 16 and older, Stewart said now is an important opportunity to reiterate the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.
"This is to prevent one from getting sick, and prevent someone from being hospitalized, and prevent someone from dying," said Stewart.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The FDA voted on Friday, Sept. 17 to reject a plan to offer a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for all Americans. However, it did endorse a booster six months after full vaccination for Americans ages 65 and older and those at high risk for severe disease. A third shot for most is still being debated, and Stewart said many people still need to focus on their first.
"Whenever you are eligible, whenever your child is eligible, you need to get that vaccination," said Stewart.
"This does not give you…(the) COVID vaccine does not give you COVID," Stewart continued. "We know that vaccines work. They are safe. They are effective."
Despite breakthrough cases, which she called rare, Stewart said it is protection for people, the community and those not eligible for the vaccine.
"It’s going to decrease the amount of COVID-19 that is out there to decrease the amount of the opportunity for a variant," Stewart said. "Now we have a resource. Now we have a weapon, and now we have to use it."
Additional information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found at:
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project