Approval for Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine was originally scheduled for Labor Day but was moved up due to a spike in cases, according to the New York Times.
The company was granted emergency use authorization in December, becoming the first COVID shot to get the green light.
Monday’s rubber stamp could lead to the shot being required in certain settings, experts say.
The US Surgeon General predicted Sunday that the authorization would cause more educational institutions and businesses to enact vaccine mandates.
“There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” Vivek Murthy said on Fox.
“I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”
“We’ve given it to hundreds of millions of people,” Murthy added on CNN. “We’ve seen that it’s doing its job. And that’s why we’re continuing to recommend that people get vaccinated starting today and … as soon as they can.”
M. David Rudd, president of the University of Memphis, pledged to put in place a COVID-19 vaccination mandate when Pfizer is granted FDA approval, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“Once the CDC provides full authorization, as is the case for the other vaccines, we will absolutely pursue [mandating COVID vaccines],” he said in the article published Friday. “My guess is once [full approval] occurs, it will be more difficult at the legislative level to disallow mandatory vaccinations simply because we have mandatory vaccinations in a number of areas.”
“If in fact the vaccine is authorized within the coming week, we will be pursuing the issue, in coordination with the state immediately.”
Louisiana State University president said similarly.
“We expect the Food and Drug Administration to approve one or more COVID-19 vaccines soon. Once this happens, the University of Louisiana System will require all students be vaccinated,” said William Tate, according to Forbes. “The University strongly encourages students to get vaccinated now in anticipation of the FDA’s approval.”
FDA approval of Moderna’s vaccine could be weeks away, as the agency reviews the company’s application, according to the New York Times.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved the agency recommending a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for people with weakened immune systems.