A chorus of praise for FDA’s approval


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said yesterday that the CNMI is grateful to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, saying this serves as proper justification for the legitimacy of the vaccine.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña echoed this, saying that FDA’s approval of the vaccine should “reassure anyone with concerns on the efficacy and safety of these vaccines.”

Torres said they are looking forward to seeing the other vaccines get the same authorization, as well as more of the people in the CNMI getting protected. The other vaccines being administered in the United States that are still under the FDA’s “Emergency Use Authorization” are Moderna and the Janssen vaccine of Johnson & Johnson.

“We are almost there, CNMI. Together, we can be stronger with the protection the vaccine provides, and by looking out for another,” he said.

Torres said front-liners, doctors, and nurses from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the COVID-19 Task Force have worked very hard over the course of the last year and a half to keep the community safe. He said vaccination of the people remains the ultimate goal in defeating this virus.

Muña also continues to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated. “We are fortunate that here in the CNMI, the rate of vaccinations for eligible persons is substantial. However, when the rest of the globe is experiencing low vaccination rates and high transmission of COVID-19, more dangerous variants can still emerge. …The FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine is definitely an important milestone that should reassure anyone with concerns on the efficacy and safety of these vaccines. The full approval was given after stringent data analysis and I hope those unvaccinated consider the full approval and get vaccinated if eligible to continue to keep the CNMI safe,” said Muña.

The Office of the Governor of Guam also issued yesterday statements from both Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio. Leon Guerrero said the FDA approval should give those who have delayed receiving their shots added confidence, and Tenorio looks forward to more vaccines becoming fully approved by the FDA.

“Since December, our island’s front-liners have administered over 129,000 Pfizer shots in arms, and the move from Emergency Use Authorization to full approval gives those who have delayed their shots the added confidence to get the vaccine. We welcome the full approval from the FDA, which affirms our latest executive order requiring proof of at least one shot to enter establishments and participate in events where mask-wearing is compromised. More than safeguarding the progress we’ve made to date, more vaccinations means greater protection for our fragile healthcare system and our limited resources, both at the Guam Memorial Hospital and the Guam Regional Medical City,” said Leon Guerrero.

“For those of us who are eligible for the vaccine, we must do everything we can to protect those unable to receive their shots. We protect our children and our vulnerable family members by surrounding them with vaccinated individuals. With Pfizer paving the way, we look forward to the other COVID-19 vaccines receiving full authorization and more of our community receiving the protection the vaccine provides,” said Tenorio.


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