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Officials Hope 'Vaccine Hesitancy' Fades Following Pfizer Vaccine's FDA Approval

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has now been fully approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

More than 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been given in the United States. Emergency use was granted back in December.

For many, FDA approval gives them the go-ahead to get vaccinated, but not so much for others.

Vaccine hesitancy is all over, and even sports teams are having a difficult time convincing players to get vaccinated. On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings brought in infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm to try and dispel myths about the vaccine.

"Some of the questions that, you know, were asked, you know, are things that you hear on the internet," Zimmer said. "I thought it went well. [Osterholm is] one of the top specialist in the world, and you know, I thought he was very good with his points. Answered a lot of questions. You know, whether or not that changes anything, I don't know."

Coach Zimmer has been dealing with vaccine hesitancy for quite some time. Unvaccinated quarterback Kirk Cousins was sidelined earlier this month because he was in close contact with another player who contracted the virus.

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While a handful of players still hold out, Dr. Venkat Iyer with Allina Health says his health care system saw an increase in the number of people reaching out to get the shot.

"The FDA full approval is going to be the tipping point for sure," Iyer said.

Iyer believes FDA approval helps change the minds of many who were unwilling to get vaccinated before.

"Those people who have been sitting on the fence thinking that, "Hey, this vaccine is not yet approved,' will finally take that leap of faith and get the vaccine," he said.

Iyer also believes FDA approval will pave the way for vaccine mandates.

"I expect more and more businesses, as well as other health care organizations, probably making this vaccination now mandatory because it is FDA approved," he said.

Allina says they do have the infrastructure in place to handle the influx of requests for vaccinations it is expecting.

WCCO did have many people reach out on social media about their hesitancy to get a vaccine. Some told us they are exercising their rights because we all have a choice. Others said they don't trust the FDA, while some said they are afraid of "Big Pharma."


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