The Food and Drug Administration has officially granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine for those 16 and older. This will be the first of three vaccine options to move past the emergency approval issued several months ago.
The approval will also allow for institutions to enforce vaccine mandates, a decision that will impact LSU's current COVID-19 guidelines.
President Tate in a statement to LSU News said he is “really excited” with the full approval and plans to update students about the vaccine mandate the following day.
Dr. Tate had previously referenced this outcome at the Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this month. The vaccine mandate could now be a reality for LSU students with the FDA's approval of Pfizer.
Despite Dr. Tate’s anticipation for the vaccine mandate, some faculty members are still hesitant to call it a milestone in LSU’s fight against COVID.
“If the mandate is delayed for months or has no teeth, it would be wrong to call it a mandate,” Professor Robert Mann wrote in a statement to Tiger TV.
Professor Mann also urged the importance of required frequent testing for those opting out of taking the vaccination, warning it could impact faculty and student confidence with LSU’s already “shaky commitment” to their health.
The change granted comes at a time when Louisiana is facing an unprecedented COVID-19 surge, in part to the new Delta-variant strand of the illness. Local leaders have continued to push for vaccination among residents, many of whom remain hesitant. Some have cited full FDA approval as a variable in their decision.
The impacts of the FDA's full approval will take shape in the coming days.
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