‘Require It’: Biden Tells Private Companies to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations

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President Joe Biden encouraged private sector companies Monday to “step up” vaccine requirements for employees following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit 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. Require it,” Biden said. “Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”

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Some vaccine holdouts pointed to the vaccine’s earlier emergency authorization as a reason not to get vaccinated, but the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 and up could address concerns among certain groups. Nearly 63% of people 18 and older have been fully vaccinated, while 73.1% have gotten at least one dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

“If you’re one of the millions of Americans who said that they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA, it has now happened,” Biden said. “The moment you’ve been waiting for is here.”

“It’s time for you to go and get your vaccination and get it today,” Biden added.

FDA acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said the full approval could change the course of the pandemic and the Biden administration’s ongoing vaccination efforts.

“While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” Woodcock said in a statement. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

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