Biden urges unvaccinated to get shots after FDA gives full Pfizer approval


President Biden on Monday called on unvaccinated Americans who have been waiting to get the shots to get vaccinated “today” after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its full approval to the Pfizer vaccine.

Biden called the FDA’s full approval for the vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech earlier on Monday a “key milestone” in the fight against the virus, and said it takes away any final excuse for not getting vaccinated.

“After a strict process the FDA has reaffirmed its findings that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and the FDA has given its full and final approval,” Biden said. “So let me say this loudly and clearly: If you’re one of the millions of Americans who said that they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA, it has now happened.”

“The moment you’ve been waiting for is here,” he added. “It’s time for you to go get your vaccination and get it today. Today.”

Full FDA approval of the vaccine has been highly anticipated for months, and some experts had urged the agency to move faster, given that full approval is seen as a key move to help hesitant people overcome their doubts about the vaccine.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in June found that 31 percent of unvaccinated adults said full FDA approval would make them more likely to get the shots, a higher percentage who said the same for being entered into a lottery or having a mobile vaccine clinic come to their neighborhood.

Another boost to the vaccination effort could come from mandates, as companies use the full approval to bolster the case for requiring their employees to be vaccinated.

“Today I’m calling on more companies in the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people,” Biden said Monday. “If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that.”

The vaccination rate has been ticking back up in recent days, to an average of about 900,000 shots per day, according to Our World in Data figures. But that is still well below the peak from April of more than 3 million per day.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 FDA Food and Drug Administration Joe Biden Pfizer Vaccines
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