Experts believe if pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech get full FDA approval of its COVID-19 vaccine, the shot could be mandatory.
Since Dec., the company has administered more than 170 million doses nationwide, under emergency use authorization. The company believes they now have enough data to submit for the lengthy application and review process, which typically takes up to 6 months.
“[The FDA] is going to review the Pfizer vaccine data, to see whether or not it makes sense to allow it to be approved and not be under emergency use authorization,” said Palm Beach Research Center Lead Researcher David Scott.
According to the state department of health, Florida school-aged children are required certain vaccines to enroll and attend school. Some of the vaccines include the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, Hepatitis B and Tetanus shot.
Employers, colleges, and universities are legally allowed to require fully approved vaccines.
Right now, some Florida universities are requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus.
But, if the FDA grants Pfizer full approval, the COVID-19 vaccine could also be mandatory.
“Then it changes the game plan because it could become a required or mandated vaccine by employers, or organizations,” Scott told CBS12 News.
The Disabilities Act protects your rights to be exempt for medical or religious reasons.
“Do you believe that the other big pharmaceutical companies will follow suit?” Asked CBS12 News Reporter Stefany Valderrama.
“The FDA was clear [about the] 2 years surveillance, they may very likely not accept it,” Scott said. “So it’s possible that modern and Johnson & Johnson are going to watch and see what happens.”
According to a Becker Hospital Review, getting full FDA approval means the vaccine could remain on the market long after the pandemic is over. It would also make it harder for other drug companies to get emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine because emergency use is only granted”if there is no other adequate, approved, and available alternative.
However, full approval could help boost confidence in the vaccine.