WILMINGTON, Del. — The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert hopes the Food and Drug Administration will begin giving full approval to the coronavirus vaccine by month’s end. And Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts the potential move would spur a wave of vaccine mandates in the private sector as well as schools and universities.
The FDA has only granted emergency-use approval of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The agency is expected to soon give full approval to Pfizer.
The Biden administration has said the federal government will not mandate vaccinations beyond the federal workforce, but is increasingly urging state and local government as well as businesses to consider such mandates.
Fauci told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “mandates at the local level need to be done” to help curb the spread of the virus.
Fauci’s comments come as the Biden administration is weighing what levers it can push to encourage more unvaccinated Americans to get their shots as the delta variant continues to surge through much of the United States.
Fauci also said Covid-19 vaccine booster shots should be given “reasonably soon” to people with weakened immune systems.
“We need to look at them in a different light,” Fauci said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on Sunday. “We would certainly be boosting those people before we boost the general population that’s been vaccinated, and we should be doing that reasonably soon.”