COVID-19

Pfizer vaccine now fully approved

The governor says there are no plans to enact vaccine mandates. Officials hope the FDA's stamp of approval will sway the vaccine hesitant.

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finally gave its full approval to the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. That’s raising hopes among health experts that people previously on the fence will finally decide to get the vaccine.

So far, just under 60% of the state’s population age 12 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination rates have stagnated through most of the past few months.

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Detroit Medical Center’s Vice President of Community Affairs and Graduate Medical Education Dr. Patricia Wilkerson-Uddyback told Bridge Michigan that many people have been hesitant to get the vaccine due to its Emergency Use status.

“All of that will hopefully go away,” she said, “and those people who were hesitant will move closer to getting the actual vaccine.”

The FDA’s formal approval will also pave the way for private companies and public institutions to require the vaccine.

State leaders don’t plan to push for any vaccine mandates, reflecting their similar position on encouraging mask mandates in schools but not requiring them.

“There are no plans to do any broad mandates,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer to reporters on Monday. “Those who were uneasy because of the early use authorization status of the vaccine maybe now will have a greater confidence in the fact that these vaccines are safe and they work.”

[Bridge Michigan, WWMT]

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