Yesterday the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination, which will be called Comirnaty, got full FDA approval for ages 16 and older. It’s been under an emergency use authorization up until now. Some vaccine hesitant people, approximately 31% according to one poll, have claimed that FDA approval would convince them to get vaccinated. I question those numbers given that full ICUs and an astronomical death rate hasn’t convinced them so far. Maybe some people will change their minds now. That may not matter as much because this opens the door for more employers and schools to mandate vaccinations. Biden mentioned this in his speech about this news, although I think some of the headlines are mischaracterizing it. Here’s some of what he said, and a video is below.
President Joe Biden on Monday urged Americans who have been waiting for full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to go get vaccinated against Covid-19 hours after the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those ages 16 and older.
“If you are one of the millions of Americans who said 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, it’s time for you to go get your vaccination, and get it today. Today,” Biden said, speaking from the White House.
The President said the full FDA approval was “an important moment in our fight against the pandemic,” and said: “The FDA approval is the gold standard.”
Biden called on leaders in the private and public sector to implement vaccine requirements, saying it will push millions more Americans to get vaccinated.
“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. Require it,” he said.
The President noted vaccine requirements have been around for decades and that students, health care professionals and US troops are typically required to get vaccinated against polio, smallpox, measles, mumps and rubella.
Biden warned against the dangers of the Delta variant, which is ripping through parts of the country with low vaccination rates and driving up hospitalizations and deaths. He urged Americans who have opted not to get the shot to reconsider in order to protect their loved ones and their communities.
Our vaccination numbers in the US are good, with 71% of people 12 and up having had at least one shot. We have had up to a million people a day getting vaccinated in the US, but at the same time our cases are spiking and younger people are dying. I’m tired and angry that people are still not getting vaccinated and are screaming about their rights to not wear masks. It’s utterly ridiculous when little kids are getting sick and ICUs are so full they’re turning people away.
Hopefully most major employers and schools will mandate vaccinations now. California schools require staff and teachers to be vaccinated or get tested weekly, the military is now implementing a vaccine mandate, and so are NY City public schools. Biden has also stated that any nursing home facility that doesn’t mandate vaccinations for their staff will face losing medicare and medicaid funding. Plus he promised that any teachers who were penalized for enforcing mask mandates under Republican governors would have their salaries covered by the federal government. This is the kind of leadership we need now. The antivaxxers can lose their jobs and teach their kids at home with worksheets they download from Facebook. I’m sure they think they’re qualified enough to be teachers, since they think they’re more qualified than doctors and scientists. I’ll end on a positive note, the fact that we have such effective vaccines and that so many people have been vaccinated is incredible. I truly hope this means that we’re turning a corner in this pandemic. As Biden stated it’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
Photos credit: Avalon.red