Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith shares thoughts about FDA’s approval of Pfizer vaccine

Can you share the percentage of unvaccinated individuals that are in ICU? And what are those numbers like compared to individuals that are vaccinated?
Yeah, you know, I’m sure people like hearing about … breakthrough cases [where] somebody who’s gotten vaccinated, fully vaccinated, gets infected. [These] people are having really mild symptoms not ending up in the hospital, and thankfully, not losing their lives. That’s what the vaccine is supposed to do, keep you away from the worst of COVID-19. So when we look at ICUs, it’s upward of around 95 to 99% of people who are in the hospital in intensive care with COVID-19 [that are] unvaccinated. I can’t tell you how many of my colleagues tell me, folks who are about to get put on the breathing machine [ask], “Can I get the vaccine now?” and they can’t, it’s too late. But for those of you who are joining us today, look, you’ve got time still, you can go and get vaccinated, please do that for yourself and your families.

What are those top three to four protocols that we can’t forget that are mandatory?
We [have] to stay safe, and vaccines are the most important tool in the toolbox. But there are multiple strategies to staying safe. We know what works, the CDC has issued that guidance. We still [have] to use masks. It’s gonna help. You know, avoid those large crowds. Even if outside, we know that outside transmission is lower, but if you’re crowded up with people outside, you’re not going to get that benefit anymore. So avoid those large crowds, please. Everybody should be washing their hands doing all that basic hygiene stuff all the time. If you’ve got the hand sanitizer, remember, it’s 20 seconds whether it’s hand sanitizer or soap and water, so keep going for 20 seconds. We’re going to stay well, we can get to the other side of this together and safely.

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