Governor says FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine a ‘step in the right direction’ to combat hesitancy

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp said that news of the FDA giving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine full approval was a “welcome step in the right direction” in the fight against the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine to fight the coronavirus. The move is drawing praise from both sides of the political aisle.

As of Monday, 50% of Georgians had gotten at least one dose. About 42% are fully vaccinated.

With the news of a full approval, these numbers could go up.

“I think we’ll see a lot more vaccine mandates roll out,” said Colleen Kelly with the Emory School of Medicine.

Many people have said they were hesitant to get the vaccine because they felt it was rushed into production, something experts have said wasn’t the case.

With this approval, more are expected to get the shot. But the approval also means some private businesses may be much more ready to require their employees to get vaccines or go find work elsewhere.

“A lot of people are just waiting to the point where they’re told they have to get the vaccine to get the vaccine,” Kelly said.

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Gov. Brian Kemp is no fan of mandates — mask or vaccine. But he has been pushing the FDA to give its full approval.

In a statement Monday, Kemp said, “As I stated in my letter to the FDA on August 5th, it is my hope more Georgians will become comfortable getting vaccinated once the safe, effective vaccines have full federal approval. Today’s move by the FDA to grant full approval of the Pfizer vaccine is a welcome step in the right direction, and I encourage them to take similar action with the two COVID-19 vaccines still under Emergency Use Authorization. I continue to urge all unvaccinated Georgians to talk with a medical professional about getting their shot.”

Georgia’s Democratic US Sen. Jon Ossoff weighed in as well, praising the full approval. He hopes it will lead to more people getting vaccinated.

“Here in Georgia, we’re seeing a significant surge in the spread of the delta variant, and it’s up to all of us to do our part to continue to fight this pandemic,” Ossoff said.

The other two vaccines, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are still operating under the emergency use authorization.

There is no word when the FDA may give them their full approval.

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