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US FDA under pressure to fully approve Pfizer, Moderna vaccines

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under pressure by different entities to fully approve the Covid-19 vaccines made by the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has announced that he would make the vaccine mandatory for the US troops by mid-September but would act “immediately” if the existing vaccines receive full approval.

Meanwhile, Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious-disease doctor, joined the chorus this week, expressing hope that the approval would encourage more people to get their shots.

“I hope, I don’t predict, but I hope that it will be within the next few weeks,” Fauci said. “I hope it’s within the month of August.”

A spokesperson for the FDA, however, announced in a statement last week that there is no “specific timing” for the full approval of the vaccines.

“As we have said, our ongoing review of the biologics license application for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is moving forward as rapidly as possible in keeping with the high-quality complete assessment that the public expects from the FDA,” the spokesperson noted.

The two vaccines of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have been under emergency authorization since December.

By receiving the final approval, the US administration seeks to increase inoculation rates via gaining the people’s trust at a situation when the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is relentlessly rising in the country.

The Covid-19 cases have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row across the US, up 35% over the past week, according to a Reuters tally of public health data.

US hospitalizations also rose 40% and deaths registered an 18% rise nationwide in the past week.

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