(Associated Press) Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s hoping for an uptick in the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations following U.S. government approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
The top infectious disease expert in the U.S. says the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Monday should encourage people who cited lack of approval as a reason for not getting vaccinated. The FDA previously had cleared the Pfizer shots for use on an emergency basis.
Fauci told NBC’s “Today Show” that FDA approval will mean more “enthusiasm” for vaccine mandates by workplaces, colleges and universities, and the military. He says it will help boost U.S. vaccination rates.
The FDA’s decision clears Pfizer to advertise the vaccine, which Fauci says should help. Government data show just under half of the U.S. population remains unvaccinated.
U.S. President Joe Biden is celebrating the full FDA approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and is urging the unvaccinated to go get their inoculations.
Biden on Monday addressed those who were waiting on the full approval and declared “it is now happened, the moment you’ve been waiting for is here.”
He also used the moment to call on private companies to require their employees to get vaccinated. The president made clear: “it’s time to get your vaccination” and warned that the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus was causing COVID cases to rise nationwide.
The FDA had previously approved three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — under an emergency use authorization. Pfizer is the first to receive full FDA approval, which Biden dubbed the “gold standard.”
The head of Washington state’s wildfire response is urging federal agencies to require coronavirus vaccinations for their wildland firefighting forces.
State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz also called on Monday for the deployment of federal resources to make vaccinations available at all fire camps on federal land.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources is making vaccines available within its jurisdictions at fire camps amid the rapidly spreading delta variant. Franz on Monday directed all his agency’s employees including firefighters to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.
Hawaii’s governor is urging residents and potential visitors to limit travel to the islands to essential business while the state struggles to control outbreaks of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Gov. David Ige wants to curtail travel to Hawaii through the end of October. In his words, “It is a risky time to be traveling right now.”
He says restaurant capacity has been restricted and there is limited access to rental cars.
But Ige is stopping short of last year’s strict travel rules that required quarantining and essentially shut down Hawaii’s tourism industry. He notes the CDC says fully vaccinated people can travel domestically.
Hawaii’s seven-day average of new daily cases hit 671 on Monday, more than triple the level four weeks earlier.
Chevron Corp. is requiring some of its employees to become vaccinated against the coronavirus as the oil industry struggles with rising infections among its unvaccinated workers.
The oil giant is requiring its workers who travel internationally, live abroad or work on its offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as some onshore support staff, to be vaccinated.
A spokeswoman for the San Ramon-based oil and gas company said Monday that vaccinations are the strongest safeguard against the virus, and the company will continue to carefully monitor medical data and guidance of health authorities to protect its workforce.
CVS Health Corp. is joining the group of U.S. companies that require employees who have contact with customers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Nurses and other employees who interact with patients, as well as all corporate staff, must be vaccinated by Oct. 31, the company said Monday. It said pharmacists have until Nov. 30 to be vaccinated.
CVS, headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, said other jobs might be added to the list requiring vaccination. The company says its workforce of some 300,000 people includes more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and nurse practitioners.