Illinois’ independent review board has released its findings after investigating all FDA data on Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, unanimously endorsing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations on the safety and the administration of the treatment.
The announcement was made by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker during his daily coronavirus press briefing on Monday. Pritzker, who was on hand as state officials accepted delivery of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines on Monday, says that the review board was looking for maximum transparency with the public about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and that the board is currently updating COVID-19 guidance with all the information it gleaned from the CDC’s recommendations.
“We want everyone to be able to access the facts as clearly as possible as we have them,” he said. “Today is a very special day that should instill us all with optimism and hope.”
The IDPH endorsed the CDC guidance that recommends that all residents age 16 or older get the COVID-19 vaccine, and also endorsed the CDC’s findings of special clinical considerations for selected groups when it comes to whether or not to get the treatment.
“For those who have had severe allergic reactions to vaccines in the past, the CDC said you can still get this vaccine when it’s your turn, but you should discuss the risks with your doctor if you choose to do so,” Pritzker said. “The CDC does not recommend special precautions for people with just non-vaccine allergies, like to bees or peanut butter.”
Pritzker also addressed the CDC’s recommendation for pregnant women to consult with their physicians prior to getting the vaccine. The governor emphasized that while medical experts normally recommend that pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding avoid getting vaccines that contain live viral material, he added that the COVID-19 vaccines made available by Pfizer, Moderna and other companies do not contain viral material.
He also added that pregnant women regularly receive the flu vaccine during pregnancy, but said that the decision should still be discussed with a physician.
“As soon as the CDC or FDA offers additional information regarding this vaccine and pregnancy, you’ll hear it from me,” he said. “But with the data to date, they have determined that this is a decision between a woman and her doctor.”