Tue, September 28, 2021

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Full FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine a key milestone, Biden says


WASHINGTON - On the heels of the Food and Drug Administrations full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, President Joe Biden again urged unvaccinated Americans to get the shots.

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Speaking from the White House, he called the approval "a key milestone in our nation's fight against covid" and stressed that inoculation saves lives. The coronavirus continues to be "a pandemic of the unvaccinated," he said, adding that those awaiting final FDA approval no longer have a reason to delay.

"The moment you've been waiting for is here, it's time for you to go get your vaccination and get it today," Biden said.

He also urged more leaders to require the shots as a way of to "reach millions more people," adding that "if you're a business leader, a nonprofit leader, 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."

Several more cities, states and private companies announced vaccine mandates on Monday. New York announced that shots are required for all public school employees, and vaccination in New Jersey is now a requirement for all state employees. Chevron announced a vaccine requirement for some of its workers. The Pentagon said it is moving forward with plans to require the shots for all active-duty troops.

They join a growing list of entities issuing such rules.

Also Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that former president Donald Trump being booed by supporters for encouraging them to get vaccinated shows just how hostile some Americans are to getting the treatment that medical professionals say can help save lives.

"We will take anyone who has a big platform out there who wants to encourage people to get vaccinated doing it," she told reporters. "That's a good thing."

"I think it's just a recognition, and we are very clear-eyed about that, there are still people who are skeptical out there in the country, that there are still people who, whether because of misinformation or a range of factors, are not yet getting vaccinated - even though it could save their lives," Psaki said about the former president being booed. "It means we still have more work to do and we are committed to doing exactly that."

Trump was booed by some of his own supporters at a rally in Alabama on Saturday night when he recommended vaccination.

While Trump and other high profile conservatives have acknowledged that they chose to be vaccinated to protect themselves from the coronavirus, about one in five Republicans said they refuse to get vaccinated, according to a survey released last month by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Vaccination rates are lowest in parts of the country that are most supportive of the former president. In fact, Alabama has the lowest vaccination rate in the country.

Aa growing number of GOP officials have become more vocal in their push for vaccines as infection rates rise. And some have begun to place the blame on the current state of the pandemic on those refusing to be vaccinated.

"It's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, R, said last month. "It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down."

Published : August 24, 2021

By : The Washington Post · Adela Suliman, Bryan Pietsch, Brittany Shammas