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Holland doctor talks COVID vaccine as FDA finalizes approval process

Posted at 6:54 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 06:54:29-05

HOLLAND, Mich. — The FDA will meet with an independent advisory council to see if the Pfizer vaccine is safe for emergency approval. One doctor tells Fox 17 this could be a turning point in the war against COVID-19, but only if the general public participates.

Dr. Michael Borenitsch practices osteopathic medicine with Holland Hospital and says getting the vaccine goes deeper than just your own health. He says getting the vaccine protects you and your neighbor.

“It really depends on us coming together and sharing a common cause that's not only good for ourselves but also looking out for our friends, our family members, other members of our community as well; because if enough of us get the vaccines, that is helping our neighbors.”

Canada is the latest country to join the UK in giving their stamp of approval on Pfizer’s vaccine, and the U.S. could be next in line. The FDA is scheduled to meet Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with an independent advisory council for an outside opinion on this vaccine. This comes as our country has seen an average of more than 206,000 new cases each day over the past week, pushing the total number of COVID cases past the 15 million marks.

Once authorized in the U.S., it will only take days for the first Americans to get the vaccine. Dr. Borenitsch understands that the expedited approval process for the vaccine, which typically takes years -- not months -- to approve, is a main concern of the public but says his biggest question is how long the vaccine will protect those who get the shot. “We’re not sure if they’re going to need a booster or not, that’s probably the biggest concern with the expedited process, is it going to be a series of shots set a few weeks apart? That remains to be seen,” he said. “We don’t know how long the immune response will be good for.”

FOX 17 has been reporting what to expect when you get the vaccine, and warnings are coming out of the UK for people who suffer from significant allergic reactions.

Dr. Borenitsch says minor side effects will not stop him from getting the vaccine. “I’m absolutely going to be putting my money where my mouth is and I'm going to get the vaccine as soon as I can,” he said.

Meanwhile, conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine are circulating on the internet. Dr. Borenitsch says misinformation is all around us. “Some say Bill Gates is monitoring us with the particles in the vaccine, for instance,” he noted. “I pinpoint that most of those people, they have smartphones. And those smartphones have applications. And a lot of those applications do some level of tracking. So if they're okay with carrying a smartphone, it makes me wonder why they wouldn't be okay with having it a vaccine, even if it was to do that, which it won’t.”

Dr. Borenitsch says now is the best time to start asking yourself some tough questions.