Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is the only one authorized for emergency use in the United States, but its full approval by the US Food and Drug Administration could take place soon, meaning the development could push more people in the country to get vaccinated.
Because Pfizer is the only vaccine given such approval, this has contributed to the unvaccinated population having second thoughts about the other available vaccines. More than 30 percent of the eligible vaccination remains unvaccinated to this day despite the sudden increase of cases because of the COVID Delta variant.
Pfizer submitted three months of clinical trial data because most side effects of vaccines occur two to three months after the vaccination. If such data regarding the other available vaccines will be presented to the public, it is possible that this could help convince the unvaccinated population to get the shot.
Dr. David Dowdy, an associate professor in the division of infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, shared: “For some, getting a full DFA approval will help allay that fear. Even if it’s just a relatively small number of people. Every little bit helps against the virus.” As per a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, three in 10 unvaccinated people said they would probably get the shot if the vaccines are fully approved.
The FDA is now working on getting more vaccines approved.
Dr. Paul Offit, a prominent member of the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said: “I think from the standpoint of the public, it really shouldn’t matter. It’s been given to half of the American population. We have more than 300 million doses out there. This is far from experimental. We have a tremendous safety and efficacy portfolio on these vaccines — I mean, it’s more than most licensed products that are out there now.”
Although this is Offit’s opinion, he recognized a psychological issue with how vaccines get viewed by the unvaccinated population.
The approval of the vaccines by the FDA would also give more employers the confidence to mandate that their employees need to get a shot. Workplaces have the legal authority to require the vaccine, but a full approval would help the companies feel more secured against lawsuits filed by employees who do not want to get vaccinated and could lose their job due to their refusal.