Stephen Parodi, MD, welcomes news of COVID-19 vaccine approvals on CNBC

Appearing on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program, Stephen Parodi, MD, said Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the pending approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are “welcome news” that together provide “a necessary shot in the arm for responding to this pandemic and the surge of cases we’re seeing.”

Stephen Parodi, MD

He also underscored the safety and efficacy of the 2 vaccines while urging people to continue taking public health precautions.

“All of these vaccines are undergoing stringent review,” said Dr. Parodi, associate executive director of The Permanente Medical Group, just hours before an FDA panel recommended Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use. The Moderna vaccine received formal approval by the FDA late Friday.

Dr. Parodi, who also serves as national infectious disease leader for Kaiser Permanente, emphasized the need for continued handwashing, mask-wearing, and social distancing to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.

“In particular with the coming holiday, staying with your family and your immediate bubble … will be really key,” he told “Power Lunch” co-host Kelly Evans. He added that the vaccine may not be available to the general public until the middle of 2021.

Responding to anecdotal reports that 2 health care workers in Alaska who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine experienced severe side effects, Dr. Parodi said the current recommendation is that patients be monitored for 15 minutes following vaccination. He noted that Kaiser Permanente already has that process in place in its vaccine distribution plans.

Following such recommendations, he added, “is the reason why the reactions up in Alaska were caught.”

Note: To view the complete interview, visit the CNBC website.