Biden addresses vaccine skeptics as FDA authorizes to Pfizer: ‘The moment you’ve been waiting for is here’

Eric Garcia
Monday 23 August 2021 19:45
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President Joe Biden addressed vaccine skeptics upon the US Food and Drug Administration giving full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.

“If you’re one of the millions of Americans who said that they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA, it has now happened,” the president said on Monday. “The moment you’ve been waiting for is here.”

The president’s remarks came as the FDA authorized the vaccination for people ages 16, which Mr Biden said was a “key milestone” in the fight against Covid-19.

“After a strict process, the FDA has reaffirmed its finding that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective and the FDA has given its full and final approval,” he said.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll from June found that 31 percent of adults said they would get vaccinated if one of the vaccines received full approval.

The president praised acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, noting she has worked under Republican and Democratic presidents and is a career scientist.

“She’s ensured that the team follow the science above all,” Mr Biden said. “They’ve looked mountains of clinical data, clinical trial data and the safety and efficiency data and concluded without question the vaccine was safe and effective for emergency use in December.”

Mr Biden noted that 90 percent of Americans have a vaccination site five miles from their home.

“So please, get your shot today,” he said. “There is no time to waste.”

The president said that the delta variant is spreading and causing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and that while cases might be declining in a few places, nationwide cases are on the rise, particularly among the unvaccinated.

“Across the country, virtually all of the Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated,” he said, adding that there are cases where vaccinated people get the virus but they are far less common than unvaccinated people getting it.

“And most importantly, their conditions are far less severe,” he said. “The overwhelming majority of people in the hospital of Covid-19 or almost all those dying of Covid-19 are not vaccinated.”

Mr Biden said that cases among children are still rare and severe cases are rarer.

“But I know that parents are thinking about their own kids, it’s not as reassuring as people would like it to be,” he said. “You have the tools to keep your child safer and two of those tools are available above all.”

The first tool he said was making sure adults around them are vaccinated, and the second was making sure kids are masked when they leave home.

“That’s how we can best keep our kids safe,” he said.

Mr Biden also repeated his call for more companies to require vaccination for employment.

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