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Monday, July 4, 2022

Surgeon General says FDA vaccine approval could mean more mandates

The FDA’s expected approval Monday of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine will likely lead to more universities and businesses requiring the immunizations for students and employees, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Sunday.

Speaking to Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Murthy declined to confirm the federal Food and Drug Administration’s plan to formally OK the vaccine Monday — but said his hope is that a “full approval,” as opposed to its current “emergency” one, would push more Americans to get their shots.

“There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” Murthy added.

“I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”

According to the Surgeon General, the FDA approval of the vaccine will lead to schools and businesses requiring employees and students to be vaccinated.
Melissa Melvin/AP

On Dec. 11, 2020, Pfizer’s two-dose shot became the first COVID-19 immunization to receive emergency authorization and is set to be the first to be fully approved by the federal agency.

The New York Times reported last week that approval had originally been targeted for Labor Day but was expedited because of the recent surge of the more infectious Delta variant of the virus.

Full approval of the Moderna vaccine could be weeks away, as the FDA continues to review its application, the report said.

Protesters at a 'Stop the Mandate' protest in Georgia after a healthcare facility started mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.
Protesters at a ‘Stop the Mandate’ protest in Georgia after a healthcare facility started mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.

Separately, the Biden administration is hoping for FDA approval of its plan to give booster shots to Americans who already received Moderna or Pfizer vaccines starting Sept. 20.

Speaking on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Murthy said officials had not yet determined the “safety and efficacy” of Johnson & Johnson booster shots.

“We anticipate people who received J&J will likely need a booster as well,” he said.


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