The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued full authorization to Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines, the agency announced on Monday.
“The Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer and BioNTech full U.S. approval of their Covid-19 vaccine – becoming the first in the U.S. to win the coveted designation and giving even more businesses, schools and universities greater confidence to adopt vaccine mandates,” CNBC reported.
“Up until now, the mRNA vaccine was on the U.S. market under an Emergency Use Authorization, which was granted by the FDA in December. Since then, more than 204 million of the Pfizer shots have been administered, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the report added.
The Covid-19 vaccine approval is set to spur a new wave of mandates in government, corporate America, and in the U.S. military. Earlier, Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted a “flood” of new mandates as soon as the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the COVID vaccine.
“As soon as the Food and Drug Administration issues a full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, there will be ‘a flood’ of vaccine mandates at businesses and schools across the nation,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told USA Today’s editorial board.
“Mandates aren’t going to happen at the federal level, but vaccine approval will embolden many groups,” he promised.
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“Organizations, enterprises, universities, colleges that have been reluctant to mandate at the local level will feel much more confident,” Fauci added.
“They can say, ‘If you want to come to this college or this university, you’ve got to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this plant, you have to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this enterprise, you’ve got to get vaccinated. If you want to work in this hospital, you’ve got to get vaccinated,'” Fauci said.
The Pentagon is set to require all U.S. military troops to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The Associated Press earlier reported on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s memo.
“I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon” licensing by the Food and Drug Administration “whichever comes first,” Austin said in a memo to the troops.
“I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if l feel the need to do so. To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,” the Defense Secretary added.
The AP also reported that “the deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise.” An Armed Forces member refusing to take the vaccine is subject to punishment under the UCMJ.
There is the still the unresolved legal issue of whether or not full authorization for the Covid-19 vaccines thereby opens up drug manufacturers for civil litigation, along with those who mandate the vaccines. It is almost certainly a matter that will be fought in courts across the United States.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.