FDA Could Approve COVID Vaccines Within Weeks

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor, said that he was hopeful that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would fully approve the COVID vaccines currently being administered in the US in the coming weeks. As of right now, all of the vaccines are being used under emergency approval. 

The three vaccines that are being used throughout the country are from drug companies Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. With the Delta variant spreading rampantly throughout the US, officials are hoping to get more people vaccinated as quickly as possible. As of Monday, 50.7% of all Americans are fully vaccinated, while just about 59% have received at least one dose. 

Talking about the potential move for approval, Fauci said, “I hope — I don’t predict — I hope that it will be within the next few weeks. I hope it’s within the month of August.” Pfizer is expected to be the first vaccine that the FDA fully approves, as it was the first one to be submitted. 

When the vaccines become fully FDA approved, experts are hoping that the move will increase trust in the vaccine, and therefore, an increase in vaccination rates. Many of those who remain unvaccinated have cited a hesitancy about such a new vaccine, and the fact that it is not yet approved as reasons for not getting the shot. 

Fauci also hopes that the approval of vaccines will allow business owners, schools, and government offices to feel more comfortable enforcing vaccine mandates to return to work and education. He said, “You’re going to see the empowerment of local enterprises, giving mandates that could be colleges, universities, places of business, a whole variety and I strongly support that. The time has come. … We’ve got to go the extra step to get people vaccinated.”

According to CNBC, the Biden administration has been weighing different scenarios to help get more Americans vaccinated. He’s approved rules that will make federal workers provide proof of vaccination or face weekly testing, a move that has been repeated around the country, with companies like Disney, Walmart, and Google enforcing similar procedures. 

With cases rising around the country, and COVID-related restrictions being slowly put back in place, like mask mandates and social distancing requirements, getting as many as possible vaccinated seems to be the keyway out of this pandemic. If the FDA approves the COVID vaccines, it could spark more interest in people getting vaccinated. 

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