President Biden on Monday urged businesses to require their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 now that the Pfizer shot is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“If you’re a business leader, a non-profit leader, a state or local leader who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that requiring,” Biden said during a briefing, adding that vaccinations have increased across the nation in the past month.
“Do what I did last month — require your employees to get vaccinations or face strict requirements,” he added.
Last month, the White House announced all federal employees would have to prove they’ve been vaccinated or face regular COVID-19 tests and mask requirements.
Early Monday, the FDA granted the Pfizer jab its full and final approval after a rigorous, independent review of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy — a “key milestone” in the nation’s battle against the virus, Biden said.
“Vaccination requirements have been around for decades. Students, healthcare professions, our troops are typically required to receive vaccinations to prevent everything from polio to smallpox, measles mumps rubella,” Biden said.
“In fact, the reason most people in America don’t worry about polio, smallpox, measles mumps and rubella today is because of vaccines. It only makes sense to require a vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Earlier Monday, United Airlines announced that it was bumping up its deadline for employees to get jabbed or lose their jobs, CNN reported.
The airline company said all of its 67,000 employees in the US will face termination if they’re not fully vaccinated by Sept. 27. The previous deadline was Oct. 25, or five weeks after a final FDA approval of any vaccine, whichever was first.
Meanwhile, overall weekly new vaccinations are up more than 56 percent from where they were a month ago, and last week, the US saw a record number of shots when more than 1 million jabs were distributed for three straight days, Biden said.
“This is the first time this has happened since June. Six million shots in the last seven days, the highest seven-day total in over a month in a half,” Biden said.
“These new requirements and incentives are accelerating vaccinations once again, giving us the hope that we can put this Delta variant behind us in the weeks ahead.”
The other two COVID-19 vaccines that are currently authorized for emergency use, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, are yet to be fully approved.