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Vaccine Mandates Will Come Here Now, Say Experts

With the FDA giving full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, expect more mandates to roll out.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The Food and Drug Administration just granted full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine for people 16 and up, meaning it no longer has emergency use status in the United States. What does this mean for you? Well, beyond making it even clearer than the FDA thinks the vaccine is safe—and thus experts expect more people will get theirs—it also means certain organizations who have been waiting for full approval will now mandate you to get a vaccine. "For businesses and universities that have been thinking about putting vaccine requirements in place in order to create safer spaces for people to work and learn, I think that this move from the FDA….will actually help them to move forward with those kinds of plans," Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN's Brianna Keilar yesterday. Read on to see which kinds of places may be instituting mandates—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Corporations Like the Ones You Work For, or Spend Money With


Your place of business now has greater incentive to mandate you get vaccinated before returning to work—as do businesses you interact with. For example: "United Airlines will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by no later than Oct. 25 or risk termination, a first for major U.S. carriers that will likely ramp up pressure on rivals," reports CNBC. "U.S. companies such as Facebook announced employees have to prove that they have been vaccinated to return to the office. Others are requiring them for only for certain workers. Walmart, for example, said last week that it will be required for corporate staff, but not store or warehouse workers. Uber said U.S. office staff will need to be vaccinated to return to in-person work but stopped short of requiring them for drivers." That may change now that there is full approval.


Colleges and Universities

Harvard University campus

Colleges and universities have been disrupted during the pandemic, as outbreaks caused stops and starts. Now some campuses may require vaccinations among students and staff. It's already happening in some states. "COVID-19 shots are now required in order to attend college on campuses in Nevada. The Nevada Board of Health unanimously approved the vaccine mandate for students on Friday. Board members say if you are registering for the spring semester, you'll have to show proof of vaccination. This applies to all colleges and universities in the Nevada System of Higher Education," reports KTNV.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said he is required to be vaccinated for certain things before going to work at his hospital, like many doctors; now many hospitals may add the COVID-19 vaccine to the mix. As with any institution, this may be tricky; in some states, subsets of hospital workers have protested such a mandate.

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The Military

us soldiers giving salute
Bumble Dee/Shutterstock

"The Pentagon plans to make the vaccine mandatory for all active duty members of the US military by the middle of September, or sooner, based on approval timing, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a memo released earlier this month," reported CNN. "I want you to know that I will seek the President's approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensure, whichever comes first," the memo states.

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Nurse taking blood sample from young female patient in the background. Selective focus on sample tube.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek