Kansas officials renew push for COVID-19 vaccine after FDA approval of Pfizer

Share this post or save for later

TOPEKA — Kansas health secretary Lee Norman and Gov. Laura Kelly say formal approval of the safe and effective Pfizer vaccine removes a hurdle for defeating the latest surge of COVID-19 in Kansas.

The rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant has killed hundreds of Kansans and sickened thousands more in recent weeks. On Monday, the Kansas Department for Health and Environment reported four more deaths, 54 hospitalizations and 2,778 new cases since Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration granted approval of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, and approval of Moderna’s vaccine is expected within weeks.

Norman said approval by federal regulators should instill confidence in hesitant Kansans because of the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing set by the FDA.

“The best way to fight this disease, especially the variant, is to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Norman said. “For those that were waiting on full approval and more data, it’s happened today. Everyone who is eligible should schedule their appointment today to get the vaccine.”

Nearly all of the new cases of COVID-19 in Kansas are attributed to the delta variant, state officials said. The delta variant is more than twice as contagious as previous strains of the deadly disease, and the recent rise in cases is comparable to numbers from last November. The state’s death toll for COVID-19 has risen by 240 in three weeks.

The free vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness from the delta variant and are available to anyone ages 12 and older. So far, just 56.1% of eligible Kansans are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The vaccine is safe, effective against severe illness and death, and our best tool to beat this virus,” Kelly said. “Today’s announcement from the FDA is good news. I urge all Kansans to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves, their neighbors, our frontline workers, and our economy.”

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: info@kansasreflector.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

See the latest COVID-19 stats for Lawrence and Douglas County on The Lawrence Times’ stat dashboard at this link.

Find out where you can get the free COVID-19 vaccine at this link.


Previous Article

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, now known as ‘Comirnaty’

Next Article

League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County to celebrate 100 years, set the record straight