The President will also reiterate his call for private and public sector leaders to adopt strong vaccination requirements, the official said. The President will mark the key milestone of the Pfizer vaccine receiving full FDA approval for people ages 16 and older in remarks on Monday afternoon at the White House. The vaccine remains under emergency authorization for 12 to 15 year olds.
“President Biden will deliver remarks to highlight the vaccination progress we have made in seven months, including over 170 million fully vaccinated Americans, and acknowledge another key milestone in our fight against the virus — FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine,” the official told CNN.
The official added, “The President will encourage Americans who have been waiting for full FDA approval to join the more than 200 million Americans who have already gotten a shot and go get vaccinated today, and he will reiterate his call to action to private and public sector leaders to adopt strong vaccination requirements.”
The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is the first coronavirus vaccine to be fully approved by the FDA — the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines remain under emergency use authorization — and the announcement is expected to open the door to more vaccine mandates.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said during a briefing on Monday the Department of Defense would move forward with requiring all US military service members to be vaccinated now that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval.
Also on Monday morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for all education department staff for all public schools across the city without a testing alternative, becoming the largest school system in the US to do so.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in the United States since mid-December for people age 16 and older. In May, the authorization was extended to those 12 and older. Out of more than 170 million people in the United States fully vaccinated against Covid-19, more than 92 million have received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that approval could encourage more people to get vaccinated, and more mandates.
“For businesses and universities that have been thinking about putting vaccine requirements in place in order to create safer spaces for people to work and learn, I think that this move from the FDA, when it comes, will actually help them to move forward with those kinds of plans,” Murthy told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
Last month, Biden announced all federal employees must attest to being vaccinated against Covid-19 or face strict protocols including regular testing, masking, limits on official travel and other mitigation measures. Contractors working for the federal government will also be subject to the new rules.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.