INDIANAPOLIS — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. This marks the first time the administration has done so since activating the vaccines for emergency use. The move already has some entities issuing vaccine mandates.
“We probably know more about the COVID vaccine than any other vaccine in human history,” expressed Shaun Grannis, vice president of Data and Analytics at the Regenstrief Institute. “Each year many companies require employees to require proof of vaccination or exemption.”
The Pentagon is putting in a vaccine mandate, as is New York City for all public school teachers and staff. Health experts expect more Indiana businesses and universities to follow the trend.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, along with the Wellness Council of Indiana, are recognizing area businesses who have high vaccination rates among their employees. It is called the “COVID Stops Here” campaign. They are giving these establishments media kits to promote their vaccination success. The kits are broken up into tier levels from bronze to platinum. Each tier represents a higher vaccination rate among employees.
“We know that if we can get employers to increase their number of vaccinated employees, whether that’s in a manufacturing setting or in a food service setting, that customers will be more likely to visit those locations,” said Jennifer Pferrer, executive director at the Wellness Council of Indiana. “It’s really a safety issue. We want Indiana Hoosiers to get vaccinated so that we can stop COVID.”
Health experts also believe the FDA approval may spark more people to get the vaccine, especially those who have been hesitant.
“We are seeing that mRNA vaccines are as effective, or more effective, than the gold star standard flu vaccines every year,” adds Grannis.
In May, Moderna applied for its full FDA approval for the vaccine. Johnson & Johnson expects to follow later this year.