BY VANESSA MEDINA DECEMBER 10, 2020
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida man and a pediatrician in Tampa presented findings and concerns regarding Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine as outside advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before an advisory panel endorsed the vaccine.
As the panel met Thursday and approved the emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, it heard from Jared Krupnick, who lives in Pembroke Pines.
“I’m the president of Uniting for Action and the founder of the Vaccine Considerations Project,” Krupnick said.
Krupnick has a degree in aerospace engineering and is a website programmer. He has created the Vaccine Considerations Project to keep all relevant information as it relates to the vaccines in one centralized location for anyone with concerns to access.
“Our team has been dissecting the previous advisory committee meeting from Oct. 22 to pull out all of the concerns that were expressed by the advisory committee members themselves,” Krupnick said. “We put all of that information together in an information matrix.”
One of the members of Krupnick’s team is Senior Medical Advisor Dr. David Berger, a pediatrician and research professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
“Vaccine hesitancy comes because of the fact that people don’t feel that they have enough knowledge, enough information comfort level to make a decision,” he said.
Berger addressed the FDA on Thursday, citing concerns and asking for a minimum of six months to track vaccine recipients for side effects as opposed to the current two months.
“I implore you to put in place a very long-term vaccine surveillance program,” Berger said. “Many autoimmune and hyperinflamatory conditions often take a while to develop.”
Another concern is that there was not enough diversity in Pfizer’s clinical trials group.
“Underserved populations, ethnic minorities, different socioeconomic statuses, I would want to know how a person does if they have a low Vitamin D level or a good Vitamin D level,” Berger said. “That has an effect on the immune system.”
The concerns are now available in one location for all to make an informed decision before deciding on getting the vaccine.
“This really is going to be an ongoing story for the next several weeks and months as long as these vaccines are being evaluated,” Krupnick said. “We want to make sure that all the best information is there.”
The FDA is expected to make a decision on Pfizer’s emergency use authorization in the coming days.
If approved, it could take days before millions of doses of the vaccine will go out. Healthcare workers and nursing home residents are the first in line to receive the vaccine.
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