One of the oft-heard objections to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has been that “they’re not really approved” by virtue of their being OK’d for use under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization. Now that the Pfizer vaccine has complete approval from the FDA (with Moderna expected to follow shortly), it’s time to find out which vaccine-hesitant patients were really waiting for this moment and which were just offering up a convenient excuse but not really interested in ever getting a shot. It couldn’t come at a better time, either, as more cities and states from coast to coast are imposing new restrictions or implementing new requirements regarding masking and vaccination. Businesses, government agencies, and educational institutions are following suit in requiring employees to get vaccinated as a condition of employment or entry into workplaces. Most recently, New York City announced that all public school teachers and administrators have to be vaccinated by September 27. The U.S. Department of Defense has mandated that active-duty service members get the vaccine, as well. As of August 22, approximately 62% of Americans were fully vaccinated. That figure can be deceiving, however, given the wide disparity in immunization rates among the states. While 77.4% of Vermont residents have been fully vaccinated, there are six states in which less than half the population has gotten a complete dose. Alabama is the lowest, with a fully vaccinated rate of only 45.4%.
With One Vaccine Fully Approved, It’s Time to Hit Up ‘Hesitant’ Patients Again