Jackson Co. Public Health hopeful for increase in vaccinations following Pfizer’s full FDA approval

MEDFORD, Ore — Jackson County Public Health officials are hopeful for an increase in vaccinations, after the FDA fully approved Pfizer’s vaccine Monday.

I think it’s going to really help,” Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Public Health Director, told NBC5 about the approval. “We have a lot of people who have a misguided perception that this was a rushed process, and that we’re in some experimental process with the vaccine. That’s just not true.” 

RELATED: FDA approves Pfizer vaccine

The announcement comes as Jackson County continues to see an increase in hospitalizations. Over the weekend, the Oregon Health Authority reported 308 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in Jackson county.

Asante, which restricted visitors due to the surge, reported 172 of its patients are hospitalized with covid. 93% of patients in the Intensive Care Unit are not vaccinated.

The state deployed the National Guard to help Asante and Providence hospitals last week.

RELATED: National Guard receives briefing from Providence and Asante in Medford, ready for ‘important mission’

Last Thursday, Governor Kate Brown announced that health care workers and school staff will need to be fully vaccinated. Brown gave a timeline of either October 18th, or six weeks after full FDA approval (October 4th after Monday’s announcement) whichever was longest.

Shames says he’s seen an increase in vaccinations over the past few weeks, but is encouraging people that are unvaccinated to take the crisis at the hospitals more seriously.

“It’s not really just about you and your personal freedom,” Shames said. “Get vaccinated. Do it for yourself and do it for the community.”


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Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
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