What FDA full approval of the Pfizer vaccine means for employee vaccine mandates

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 8:34 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

This makes Pfizer the first COVID-19 vaccine to transition from an emergency authorization to full FDA approval.

Health experts say this is a breakthrough, as some people were hesitant to get the shots or employers were waiting to mandate the vaccine until it had full approval from the FDA.

“There are some folks who say that well I’m not going to get it until it has full approval, well now is your opportunity you can now become part of the solution to the COVID-19 problem. You can go out and get your vaccine,” said Dr. Todd Bell, Associate Professor, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Rodney Young, Regional Chair of Family and Community Medicine at TTUHSC says for those who were hesitant they can now fully know the vaccine is safe and effective.

“Now that they know that the panel has gone through its very tedious, very detailed review process and granted full approval demonstrating that the vaccine is both safe and effective with vigorous exhaustive review that might help to bring some of those people that have remained hesitance pertaining to that issue over to the group that is more willing to accept it,” said Dr. Young.

One attorney said he believes we will start to see more employers making vaccine mandates.

“I think it gives companies the ability to do it without concern of litigation, being sued over it, there was some concern this was an emergency situation and approval hadn’t been there until today, I think this is a real game changer for a lot of these companies and organizations and certainly even local and state governments,” said Eric Cedillo, attorney and SMU clinical professor of law.

He said private companies are allowed to mandate their employees to get the vaccine.

Due to the government and legislature having control over school districts, he said those may be a little different in regards to any vaccine mandates.

School districts and other things those might be situations that are a little different, the government has some control over that and of course our legislature.

He also mentions that you cannot be forced to get the vaccine, however it may limit what you can and cannot do.

“No one is actually going to require that you be vaccinated, they can’t make you do it. What they can do is not allow you into their venues, what they can do is not let you work, what they can do is not let your students attend school, so those are things that you still have a choice and make a decision based on that, but it does limit what you can and can’t do, but as far as forced vaccinations you still have a choice and you still have the opportunity to do some things,” said Cedillo.

He believes laws will be created like ones we already have for other vaccinations that are required for schools.

“There will still be exceptions just like we currently have when people realize that vaccination requirements are throughout our schools here in the state of Texas, we still have them in place there is an opportunity to opt out for medical reasons and other things, so I’m sure the same type of thing will happen in respect of COVID, so it’s a situation that I don’t think anyone should get overly welled up about,” said Cedillo.

Amarillo health experts also said we have enough supply here for vaccines and are not close to a shortage.

They say anyone who wants the vaccine is able to get it.

They do mention the Pfizer vaccine is required to be stored in ultra cold freezers, which could limit where they are offered, so they recommend to call around if the Pfzier vaccine is what you specifically want.

You can locate where to get a vaccine in your area by using the CDC vaccine website.

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