FDA Reportedly Hopes To Fully Approve Pfizer's Covid Vaccine By Labor Day

ToplineAccording to the New York Times Tuesday, federal regulators aim to approve Pfizers' coronavirus vaccine in September. This is a step experts believe will increase vaccination rates as coronavirus cases rise nationwide.A French health worker holds an vial containing Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination on January 6.... [+] 2021 in Aulnay-sous-Bois. POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Key FactsAccording to the Times, unnamed sources reported that the Food and Drug Administration hopes to complete the approval process for Pfizers vaccine. The current emergency use authorization is valid until Labor Day. Stat was informed last week by an anonymous official that the FDA is racing to approve full approval. A spokesperson for the FDA described the FDA's efforts as an all-hands-on deck approach in a statement to Stat, the Times and other media. Last month, President Joe Biden suggested that full approval could be granted as early as August or late October. Forbes asked the FDA for comments after Pfizer submitted a request. The FDA did not respond immediately.Important BackgroundBecause it granted an emergency authorization to vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer more quickly than normal, the FDA was able to allow them to reach American patients faster than usual. This is because full FDA approval requires more safety data and takes longer to process. It also requires more time and can be more permanent than emergency authorization. Although approval can take several months, some experts in health have called on the FDA to speed up the process. They argue that full approval would increase public trust in vaccines, at a time when many Americans are still skeptical. Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams suggested last month that the FDA's official approval could encourage more schools and workplaces mandate vaccinations.Chief CriticOrganization vaccine mandates are the fastest way to 70% vaccination rate in many communities. However, a lack of FDA licensure leaves schools, colleges, and businesses in legal trouble, Adams tweeted in July.