In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has fully authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for U.S. residents age 16 and over. The vaccine still has emergency use authorization for children aged 12 to 15. President Joe Biden said the FDA’s move should convince vaccine holdouts to get inoculated.
President Joe Biden: “If you’re one of the millions of Americans who said that they will not get the shot when it’s — 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.”
The FDA’s announcement set off a wave of vaccine mandates by corporations and government agencies. The Pentagon said all 1.3 million active-duty troops will be required to get vaccinated. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said all school employees — including principals, teachers and custodians — will be required to have at least one vaccine dose by September 27. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy said all state employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18 or undergo testing up to twice a week. This comes as the U.S. is recording an average of over 150,000 daily infections and over 1,000 daily deaths from COVID-19.