TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to recent surveys, nearly 40% of Americans are unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. The main reasons cited are concerns about potential negative side effects and lack of trust in the approval process. Many physicians are expressing these concerns as well.
On December 10, 2020, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet to discuss Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Dr. David Berger, a Tampa pediatrician focusing on neurodevelopmental and immunological conditions, was chosen to present to the Committee because of his decades of experience as a vaccine consultant and educator who helps people address concerns about vaccines.
As the founder and medical director of Wholistic Pediatrics & Family Care, Dr. Berger is one of the few Tampa Bay area pediatricians who will not discharge families from the medical practice if they opt for an alternative vaccine plan or completely refuse to be vaccinated. As a result, he has the unique perspective of a clinician who hears directly from patients about their vaccine concerns, hesitations, and considerations. Many of the patients who consult with Dr. Berger eventually proceed with a vaccine schedule.
Dr. Berger also serves as Senior Medical Advisor for The Vaccine Considerations Project, a group working to consolidate, organize, and amplify COVID-19 vaccine health and safety concerns of the medical community, epidemiologists, public health experts, and the general public.
At the committee meeting, Dr. Berger will stress the importance of the FDA coordinating with healthcare providers about aspects of the vaccine evaluation process where rigor and transparency appear to be lacking. He will also make specific recommendations for how the FDA can actively address these concerns. Dr. Berger believes that without addressing these process shortcomings, vaccine hesitancy will likely persevere and confidence in the integrity of the FDA's process will continue to be undermined.
"The FDA and CDC have consistently acknowledged that for a vaccine program to succeed, they must establish public and medical professional trust through a rigorous, transparent vaccine evaluation and authorization process," Dr. Berger says. "For the COVID vaccine program to be successful, it is imperative the government listen to public opinion and take necessary steps to curb concerns about safety and transparency."
Dr. Berger will present to the Committee between 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET on Thursday, December 10, 2020. The online meeting will be available to view at:
Dr. Berger also produced a series of YouTube videos on COVID-19 topics important to his patients, and social media campaigns to notify the public about FDA vaccine approval meetings.
Dr. Berger is available for further public comment before or after his committee presentation.
MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION
Shari Kulanu, Executive Director
c: (510) 772-8102
SOURCE Wholistic Pediatrics & Family Care