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Health Officials Hope FDA Approval Of Pfizer Vaccine Will Encourage More People To Get Shots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granting full approval for Pfizer's COVID vaccine, will more people feel comfortable getting the shot?

CBS2's John Dias spoke with New Yorkers in Washington Heights to find out.

"We really don't know what's in it. They say one thing, and could be another," mother Danessa Martinez told Dias. "The FDA approves a lot of chemicals that are not good for you. So I'm still hesitant."

In her zip code - 10033 -- she is far from alone.

"I don't want to compromise my health," another resident added.

COVID cases are higher in the neighborhood than Manhattan's average, and the percentage of people fully vaccinated is well below -- just over 54%. Those who are vaccinated want others to rethink their decision.

"People right now are just more concerned about themselves," said Aris Ulerio.

"With freedom comes a little bit of responsibility," Jasper Delcarlino said. "You have to have a little bit of responsibility toward other people around you."


Yolanda Mendez is a pharmacist in the area.

"When we started, we couldn't even keep it in stock," she told Dias.

She says vaccinations have slowed down. Now, she's lucky to administer one a day, due in part to growing access. She hopes the FDA approval means more people will come around.

"Letting them know that this is not a test, that these vaccines have actually been put through rigorous investigation," she said.

With the official green light from the FDA, Mayor Bill de Blasio called on private sectors to mandate vaccines in the workplace.

"Those mandates save lives and speed the recovery and stop us from falling back," he said Tuesday.


On Monday, he announced the city will require all 148,000 public school employees to get their first dose by September 27, with no weekly testing option.

The mayor is now urging the Biden administration to expand eligibility to younger kids, so almost everyone in schools will be protected.

"We need an accelerated, focused effort at the federal level to get the vaccination ready for 5 to 11-year-olds," de Blasio said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he believes this FDA approval will lead to increased vaccinations across the country, so the U.S. can get control of the pandemic by spring.

The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines could also see approval in the next few weeks.

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