Bay News 9: Tampa Bay Doctor Urges Vaccine Transparency from FDA

Dec 17, 2020

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by Katya Guillaume

The FDA Advisory Committee on Thursday unanimously recommended Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, and approval could come as soon as Friday.

But the panel of 20 outside health and medical experts on the committee didn’t make that decision in a vacuum.

One of the doctors who weighed in was Dr. David Berger, a pediatrician in the Tampa Bay area.


What You Need To Know

Dr. Berger, who was also part of the advisory committee discussions on the Pfizer vaccine just last week, is now the doctor is calling for more transparency as a way to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

He explained to the committee that building public confidence in its safety is key.

Board certified, Dr. Berger has been practicing pediatrics in the Bay Area for more than a decade. He told Spectrum News that many of his patients are posing a lot of questions about the COVID vaccine.

“We have heard a very large percentage of people, both in the community at large and even in the medical community, who have hesitancy about the vaccine for lots of different reasons,” Dr. Berger said.

As more pharmaceutical companies apply for the FDA to approve their vaccines, Dr. Berger said he’s urging the FDA to provide timely information for the public to review “because it seems like that’s what our country is looking for. Maybe we will find out over time that maybe one vaccine is more effective or one vaccine has more side effects but the only way we’re going to know is to compile this type of data.”

Dr. Berger explained that he’s very passionate about getting answers, especially for those like himself who would be considered high-risk.

“So I’m trying to look at it from both angles here,” he said. “Am I at higher risk because of catching the disease or am I at higher risk from potentially catching a vaccine reaction because that data is not out?”

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