Pfizer vaccine gets full FDA approval, Biden urges holdouts to get vaccinated

President Biden Updates on Covid Response
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.

[From CNN]

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.

President Biden Updates on Covid Response

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39 Responses to “Pfizer vaccine gets full FDA approval, Biden urges holdouts to get vaccinated”

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  1. Robyn says:

    The “it isn’t FDA approved!” folks on my social media have already moved the goal posts, so I hope mandates do start to move things along, but I think things are going to get a lot uglier tbh.

    • Darla says:

      how much uglier can they get tho?

      • Robyn says:

        Well, look at how well the school board meetings are going. They are starting to look like the appetizer to what’s coming.

      • Alexandria says:

        If some Americans can still justify the Capitol siege as fighting for freedom, this can certainly get ugly.

      • Darla says:

        Yes, those remind me of the summer of the townhalls over the ACA. Is believing Fauci is going to chip you crazier than screaming about death panels? I mean, I don’t know. I feel like I’ve seen it all from these people especially after 1/6. Maybe I’m wrong.

      • Robyn says:

        @Alexandria Yep. Exactly. They can, and will, get much uglier in this, the stupidest timeline.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I’d be curious to see the numbers in a month or two – how many people who were yelling about FDA approval actually went out and got vaccinated after it was approved. I’m willing to bet it’s not going to be many, because that was just a handy excuse.

      • lucy2 says:

        Exactly, it was just an excuse. Now it will be “they rushed the approval, we don’t know that it’s really safe”.

  2. Alexandria says:

    I’ve seen the X-rays of unvaccinated YOUNG people with Delta. The lungs are obliterated. I know some people who are desperate to be vaccinated. I reserve my best wishes for them, the Covid frontliners and the sick who have to give up their treatment slots and beds because hospitals are full!

    • Aang says:

      My friends in Cuba are desperate for vaccines. And they don’t have the choice to social distance. They hav to wait for hours in crowded lines just to buy what little food is available.

  3. Coco says:

    I’d bet a maximum of 10% of the unvaccinated pursue the vaccination simply due to the announcement of FDA approval. More hopefully will follow when their employment now mandates it.

    • Noodle says:

      Yesterday I was at the pharmacy getting a prescription, and the line for vaccinations was really, really long – much longer than I’ve ever seen it before. If this is what it takes to get more people vaccinated, I’m happy. I still think they’re idiots for waiting, but at least it’s fewer unvaxxed people I have to encounter at Target or the grocery store.

      • Coco says:

        I’d be happy to be proven wrong!

      • Noodle says:

        It may have been a fluke. There’s no way to test the theory, nor do I have the time to do data collection on strangers in line at a CVS. I’m just happy more people are getting vaccinated, because it protects the vulnerable and helps with public health.

  4. TheOriginalMia says:

    Lady on FB was spouting her reasons for not getting the vaccine and admonishing those that bullied and shamed anti-vaxxers. She said she’d get it when it was approved. Hours later, it’s approved and the goal posts were moved. Again. Sigh…

  5. CFY says:

    I think everyone expects the majority of “it’s not fully approved!” holdouts to again move the goalposts, or claim more conspiracies, or whatever. Some who were on the fence might be moved to get the jab. I think this is mostly for the businesses and reasonable state and local governments to enact their own requirements. As Your Local Epidemiologist said in her newsletter yesterday, the carrot approach will be ditched and now it’s time for the stick.

    As someone who lives in Orlando I was also happy to see that last night Walt Disney World announced that they came to an agreement with the unions for a vaccination requirement. The unions have been pro-vaccine, they have said many of their members are already vaccinated, and the talks over the last month were about making sure those who are truly exempt have job protection, and also making sure there was an adequate timeline for non-vaccinated workers to get that rectified.

  6. Monette says:

    Sally,Moriarty is actually way better. I can’t even pronounce the new name Comirblabla. What the heck is even this name?!?

  7. Livethelifeaquatic says:

    My boyfriend was a hold out. And he told me this morning he has decided to get vaccinated. I said I thought that was a wonderful idea. Lol! There is hope.

    • lanne says:

      I would be questioning my future with a person who was a vaccine holdout. Glad he’s come around, but that’s kind of a major red flag.

      • Livethelifeaquatic says:

        It isn’t for me. He is a fabulous man and I respect others decisions on the matter.

      • kat says:

        If you want kids with him, you should be having major discussions now about childhood vaccinations and what if scenarios, like would he refuse your kids medical care if they got cancer, etc., etc. That’s a huge red flag, IMO. Glad he’s great in other respects, and glad he’s going to get vaccinated!

  8. Gil says:

    I don’t think the FDA approval was the real problem for people refusing the vaccine. I mean if they can see their next door neighbor dying from COVID and not getting the jab I don’t think the FDA approval would do anything to change these crazy peoples mind

    • Becks1 says:

      I also think most of those people holding out for FDA approval can’t tell you what’s involved in getting FDA approval vs emergency use authorization.

      • lucy2 says:

        They probably don’t even know what FDA stands for.

      • kgeo says:

        I think that’s kind of unfair. I got it as soon as I could, but people are familiar with and trust the FDA, which is what we want. If that’s what it takes for them to get vaccinated, then so be it. Do I think a lot of people were using it as an excuse? Sure. There are also a lot of people that actually are vaccine skeptical and this is the bar they’ve set for themselves when it comes to the vaccine. On the other hand, there are probably a lot of people that have been secretly wanting to get the vaccine, but felt pressured not to for political reasons. I think they can now go ‘see, it’s finally FDA approved’.
        ETA; I think you’ll see more people getting vaccinated now. Not enough, but more.

    • Robyn says:

      Nope. It was only ever a talking…er, screaming point.

  9. Snuffles says:

    I think the official approval will give businesses and local, state and federal governments the leverage to make vaccine mandates. Also, they can now advertise the vaccine. The American public will soon be blasted with vaccine commercials from every angle. It could sway a decent amount of people.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      I don’t know where you live but where I live, I constantly see commercials about getting vaccinated. I see posters, I hear radio commercials, I see doctors on the news advising people to get the vaccine. We are already being blasted, at least in the tri-state area of NYC.

      • Snuffles says:

        I live in Maryland. While our local news continues to push for vaccinations, I don’t think I’ve seen any advertising for a specific vaccine.

        ETA: Our Governor is Republican but anti-Trump. He’s also a cancer survivor so he’s also supported the vaccine by facilitating its distribution. But I feel like he’s stopped short of mandating it. He’s got some cover though because the federal government has mandated its employees to get vaccinated and there are numerous federal facilities located in Maryland and a big chunk of our population works for the federal government.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Snuffles yeah I have not seen any advertising for the vaccine but I have seen lots of promotions for it (I did not win the vaccine lottery, so sad, lol.)

        One thing that has been annoying me about Hogan is that I feel like under Trump, during the pandemic, he used terms like “the federal government”, “the white house,” “the president” a lot – but very rarely Trump’s name. Now when he’s talking about how the federal government isn’t doing its job or whatever its all “the biden administration” and “president biden.” It’s a very clear pivot IMO.

      • Snuffles says:


        Yeah, I think Hogan plans on running for President in 2024.

  10. ML says:

    1. I personally think asking medical personnel to get vaxxed is a no-brainer. Especially after what happened in nursing homes during the early days of the pandemic.
    2. I hope that threatening to rip Medicare/caid funding away from nursing homes whose staff isn’t entirely vaxxed is just a threat and not something that Biden will actually implement. My experience of nursing homes and rehab centers is that they’re already operating understaffed and underfunded. Right now the patients often pay that price: early bedtimes, less attention, sitting in urine longer, changing medicines, crappier food… How in the name of all that is holy will eliminating funding protect our sick and elderly?? Why not go after the workers instead? And up to that point make sure they’re getting tested daily?

    • DebraSam says:

      Long-term/rehabilitation nurse here:) 1/3 of our staff is not vaccinated and are threatening to quit over this, SMH. This is a very red state. We have been through waves of Covid and now most of our resident’s have taken the vaccine, thank Dog. Quite a few of our residents died from the virus, and many are weakened from it – will never recover fully. The staff has been decimated, we have been working short handed and mandated (forced) to work extra hours to cover. Many have gotten out of the field altogether. Our management is working the floor side by side with us – which is one of the reasons I stay. That is secondary to the love of my patients – who else will care for them? LPN’s are leaving to work stocking shelves on midnights at Costco. The pay is the same. And now the local Taco Bell is offering $14/hour to assemble tacos, 5 cents less than what our nurse aides are currently making – so we expect to lose more aides.. We are exhausted trying to provide the best care possible for our beloved residents. I don’t know how much longer we can do this – and the news only gets worse.

  11. Rapunzel says:

    FDA approval vs emergency use authorization is just semantics, really. It’s simply buracracy.
    Numerous drugs approved by the FDA get recalled later. And the research the FDA uses for approval is often sponsored by the company doing the research and is cherrypicked. So you are always taking a chance, unless your medication has been approved and used for decades.

    None of that should matter in the midst of this insane pandemic grinding the world to a halt. When folks are dropping like flies, you take the risk. Especially now that millions have successfully vaxxed.

    I’m tired of dummies that scream “don’t
    trust big pharma” without understanding that big pharma is big pharma because they…you know…make medicines that work. Thinking these drug companies, Bill Gates or the Government is attempting depopulation with this vaccine is beyond stupid. These folks don’t benefit from such a plan.

  12. Jensies says:

    I’m glad to see this and I hope it impacts people. Truly. Because I’m a therapist, and I’ve been talking to anti-vaccine clients for a year now and trying to gently move them and I’ve realized, after collapsing into angry tears yesterday, that this is impacting my ability to do my job because I feel so burned out by these conversations. I just can’t keep hearing these BS arguments and conspiracy theories.

  13. Meghan says:

    I know they’re working as hard as they can, but I cannot wait until it is authorized for kids. My niece, who had Covid 1 year ago, just had another test today because she was in direct contact with someone who tested positive on Friday. Last night my 5 year old complained of a headache and randomly spiked a 101.2 fever and my freak out started. He hasn’t been around my niece in weeks and to my knowledge no one we know has Covid but it is SO SCARY to think I could have it and not know and pass it to him or someone else.

    Luckily he has had no fever today and says his head is fine so it seems to have been just a weird thing? Or he knew I needed a day off work and arranged that for me! Just waiting to hear the test results for my niece, fingers crossed.

  14. jferber says:

    Yeah, the idiots will easily get 100,000 more people killed by COVID. For them, it must be some sort of victory, but for the life of me, I just don’t see how. Not sure if it qualifies as mass suicide or mass homocide?