[OPINION] Dr. Fauci on Pfizer vaccine full approval: The United States could get COVID-19 under control by early next year if vaccinations ramp up

File photo shows Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines distributed across hospitals across Southern California. Photo courtesy of City of Hope

OPTIMISM leaps in my heart to hear the news that following all required scientific protocols, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally given full approval for the Pfizer COVID vaccine on Monday, August 23, for people 16 and older.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that more approvals are expected to come out in the next few weeks. As the season changes from winter to spring of 2022, Fauci declared that COVID-19 could be under control if vaccinations ramp up.

And the good news does not stop with vaccines for adults. Children will finally have the chance to be protected as pediatric cases surge in hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU) across the country with the highly contagious and deadly Delta variant of COVID-19.

”I think there’s a reasonable chance” that Pfizer or Moderna could get FDA clearance for children under 12 before the upcoming holiday season, Dr. Fauci said in an interview on NBC News. “Hopefully by the mid-late fall and early winter.”

There has been a surge in COVID cases in the United States with the infection of the unvaccinated. As the New York Times reported: “Hospitalizations and deaths are also rising, particularly in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and other parts of the U.S. South.”

These states have been more resistant to vaccination and wearing masks, thanks but no thanks to some irresponsible Republican national and local officials who have been peddling disinformation and all-out war — not against the virus, but against the invisible enemy that is the coronavirus.

“I would like to appeal to the people in the country who are not vaccinated to realize that we have the capability, among ourselves, to essentially cut down the time frame to getting to the end of this pandemic,” Dr. Fauci said during a press conference on Tuesday, August 24.

“If you are one of the millions of Americans who said they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA, it has now happened. The moment you’ve been waiting for is here, it’s time for you to go get your vaccination, and get it today. Today,” Biden said on Monday, August 23, after the announcement of Pfizer’s full approval.

According to a report by Kaiser Family Foundation, “three in ten unvaccinated adults, rising to about half of those in the “wait and see” group, say they would be more likely to get vaccinated if one of the vaccines currently authorized for emergency use were to receive full approval from the FDA.”

This development is critical to the nation’s prolonged war against COVID-19 that we have all been fighting for more than one and a half years now. The pandemic has killed more than 647,878 Americans and has disputed our lives as families, as a nation, and as part of the global community where the death toll now has risen to more than 4.46 million.

Full federal approval of the vaccine has given a strong case for the government and private institutions and businesses to mandate vaccination to attain herd immunity, save lives, and help us all go back to normalcy.

This development “is opening the way for institutions like the military, corporate employers, hospitals and school districts to announce vaccine mandates for their employees,” the Times reported.

The Times reported that “One of the first and largest to move ahead was the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III had already received authorization from President Biden to mandate vaccines for all active-duty troops once the vaccine was fully approved, and he was moving swiftly to put the plans into action, said John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman. The secretary will soon send specific vaccination guidelines to 1.4 million service members.”

The same is true for college students who will be mandated to get vaccinated to keep themselves and everybody safe as school reopens this fall following a few states that have resumed in-person classes this August.

This approval will also support businesses in their policy to refuse services to the unvaccinated.

As FDA announced on August 23, 2021:

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D.

 “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. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

 If the unvaccinated refuse to comply, then they have to face the consequences of their decision for the greater good. We are in this war together. If they cannot go beyond their own selves and refuse to cooperate, the least they can do is to shut up, stop peddling lies and disinformation, stay at home and do not get in the way of other people who choose to do the right, responsible, life-saving and patriotic action of getting vaccinated. 

WE CAN DO THIS! WE WILL DEFEAT COVID-19!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

 

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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