One of the most common criticisms from those hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 now rings hollow. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, paving the way for more vaccine mandates from employers across the country. The approved vaccine will be marketed as “Comirnaty” going forward, but the formula will remain the same.
Since vaccines first became available at the start of the year, many against getting the shots cited the experimental status of the vaccines as a major deterrent. That line of thinking is no longer applicable with the news that the Pfizer vaccine is safe, effective and approved by the FDA.
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy explained that now employers could now make the vaccine mandatory for both employees and customers.
“For businesses and universities that have been thinking about putting vaccine requirements in place in order to create safer spaces for people to work and learn, I think that this move from the FDA … will actually help them to move forward with those kinds of plans,’’ the Surgeon General said.
In a statement to NBC News, Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock hoped the news would prompt the unvaccinated to change their mind about the vaccine.
“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”
As of today, around 30% of eligible adults have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
In recent days, a number of high-profile individuals announced they were infected with the virus including Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. According to reporting by USA Today, an American dies of COVID-19 every 85 seconds.