President Joe Biden urged more private sector companies to impose vaccine requirements Monday following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
The FDA announced full approval for the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 years and older, less than a week after the Biden administration said it expects booster shots – subject to FDA approval – for vaccinated Americans as soon as mid-September. This is the fastest approval announcement in the FDA’s history, with the FDA making an effort to clear regulatory hurdles quickly, CBS News reported.
“If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader who has been waiting on full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that. Require it,” Biden said.
He urged private sector companies to “step up the vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people” and touted the FDA’s approval. The president also pushed for unvaccinated Americans to get the shot, noting that many may have been waiting for this approval.
“If you’re 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,” Biden said. “The moment you were waiting for is here. It’s time for you to go get your vaccination.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that 71% of individuals 12 years and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 60.2 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the data. The Pfizer vaccine marks the first to get approval from the FDA, although the administration is working on approval for others.
Federal employees are required to get vaccinated or go through various hurdles, Biden announced in July. Following the FDA’s approval on Monday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby noted that the Department of Defense is set to put out new guidelines mandating vaccines for members of the military. (RELATED: Biden Administration Says Federal Employees Now Have To Confirm Vaccination Status Or Risk Various Hurdles)