Can full FDA approval for COVID jabs end vaccine hesitancy?
- All COVID-19 vaccines in use in the US have emergency-use authorisation
- Public health experts are now pushing for full FDA approval of the vaccines
- Full approval may help counter vaccine hesitancy, say experts
COVID-19 vaccines, currently being administered under emergency-use authorisation, may soon get formal approval from the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to an NBC news report, there is mounting pressure on the FDA to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Full approval may significantly change the way the vaccines are being administered. While the exact changes that full approval may bring still remain unclear according to scientists and doctors, the hope is that full approval may be able to convince those who are vaccine hesitant that the shots are safe.
A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that three out of 10 adults would be more likely to get vaccinated after the vaccines received full FDA approval.
“People are going to see full approval, and they are going to feel much more confident in taking the vaccine,” Dr Robert Murphy told NBC News. Murphy is the executive director for the Institute of Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
According to Murphy, some of the lack of confidence in the vaccines is due to the fact that the vaccines are currently being administered under emergency-use authorisation.
Emergency-use authorisation is misunderstood, says Murphy, “It does not mean it’s experimental. All the experimental work has been done,” he said.
However, not all health experts agree that FDA approval could end vaccine hesitancy. The same Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that two-thirds of adults, including many of those who were unvaccinated, believed that all three vaccines available in the US were either already approved or that they were unsure whether they had been approved or not.
Even then, public health experts believe that full approval could help companies and cities with vaccine mandates. Full approval is also likely to open doors for booster doses as it will grant doctors the power to prescribe medications “off label”.