What’s next as FDA moves to grant full approval of COVID shots: Changing vaccine hesitant minds or more employee mandates?

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Credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on [August 23] offered its first full authorization for a coronavirus vaccine — the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — after previously approving it and other vaccines on an emergency basis.

Many immediately asked what it would mean for a vaccination push that has run into stubborn resistance based upon concerns about its safety, particularly with conservative Americans.

Already, we’re seeing the likes of Fox News traffic in the idea that this authorization might have been “rushed” (while also somehow, almost in the same breath, debating whether it took too long).

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Related article:  Viewpoint: Freedom not force? One physician’s strategy to engage the COVID vaccine reluctant

Regardless of conspiracy theories that are spreading about the authorization, the fact is that this makes it easier for employers and the government to mandate vaccinations. Some were already headed in that direction, but relatively few had used mandates. Now they can do so with a fully authorized vaccine — similar to other vaccines that are mandated in places like schools, etc. — which makes such mandates significantly more difficult to challenge in court.

Vaccine skeptics on full FDA authorization. Credit: Aaron Blake/Kaiser Family Foundation
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