Fauci hopeful Covid-19 vaccines get full OK by FDA within weeks

Fauci hopeful COVID vaccines get full OK by FDA within weeks
Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he was hopeful the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will give full approval to the Covid-19 vaccine by month’s end and predicted the potential move will spur a wave of vaccine mandates in the private sector as well as universities and schools.

The FDA has only granted emergency-use approval of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but they are expected to soon give full approval to Pfizer.

The Biden administration has said that the federal government will not mandate vaccinations beyond the workforce of the federal government, but is increasingly urging local and state governments as well as businesses to consider such mandates.

Fauci, who is US government’s top infectious disease expert, said “mandates at the local level need to be done” to help curb the spread of the virus.

“I hope — I don’t predict — I hope that it will be within the next few weeks. I hope it’s within the month of August,” Fauci, who is also President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said of FDA approval of the vaccine.

Fauci’s comments come as the US administration is weighing what levers it can push to encourage more Americans who are not yet vaccinated to get their shots as the delta variant continues to surge through much of the US.

President Biden recently approved rules requiring federal workers to provide proof of vaccination or face regular testing, travel restrictions and mask mandates.

The US president is also awaiting a formal recommendation from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on potentially requiring US troops to get vaccinated.

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