Surgeon general: Vaccine requirements at business, colleges ‘a very reasonable thing to do’
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Sunday said vaccine requirements at businesses and colleges are “a very reasonable thing to do,” as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly set to fully approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as soon as this week.
Murthy, when asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he would urge business and colleges to consider mandating the vaccine once it receives full approval, said such a requirement could “create a safe environment.”
“We already know that there are many businesses and universities that have moved toward vaccine requirements and I think that’s a very reasonable thing to do to create a safe environment,” Murthy told host Brianna Keilar.
He also endorsed requirements for school employees to get vaccinated to “create a safer environment for our kids.”
“There’s one other thing I think we need to do that some states have been doing to create a safer school environment, and that’s requiring that employees in the school, including teachers and other staff, are vaccinated as well to create a safer environment for our kids,” Murthy said.
He added that vaccine mandates for business, schools and for education workers “are absolutely reasonable,” citing the increased threat from the highly infectious delta variant, which has taken hold in the U.S. as the dominant strain of COVID-19.
“I think all of these are reasonable because when we’re faced with the most transmissible variant that we’ve seen to date, the delta variant. When we have our kids, essentially is the point of concern here in our schools and their health and wellbeing on the line, we’ve got to take every step we can,” Murthy said.
“And so I think that these measures, these requirements, we’re seeing are absolutely reasonable, but I think they will help,” he added.
Murthy said he anticipates that the imminent announcement from the FDA on the Pfizer vaccine will have two impacts in the U.S.: People who have been waiting for full approval will now be more inclined to get their shots, and business and colleges considering vaccine requirements will now have an easier time moving forward with those plans.
The forthcoming approval from the FDA comes as the U.S. is seeing a surge in COVID-19 infections, driven largely by the delta variant.
The country is now seeing more than 100,000 new daily cases, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is significantly more than the roughly 12,000 infections the U.S. was seeing per day in June.