The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first issued an emergency authorization use for the Pfizer vaccine back in December 2020. Since then, the administration issued the same approval for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Some people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine say it’s because the vaccines have not yet gotten full federal approval.
“It brings a sense of security. Some people, even those who are vaccinated, are scared about the effects of this emergency approval for this current vaccine,” Dr. Apryl Alexander, associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver, said.
Could full approval of COVID-19 vaccines increase vaccination rates?
Millions of Americans have now been vaccinated. According to the Associated Press, nearly 200 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
But millions of Americans remain skeptical of the vaccines. Alexander said she thinks the full approval will help get some people off the fence.
“I think for a lot of people, they are having a healthy sense of skepticism and waiting for that approval from science,” Alexander said.
She said the main reasons some people have held off on being vaccinated is they were simply waiting for the full FDA approval or they wanted to learn more about the side effects.
“Some people were hesitant as they waited on FDA approval and trying to protect their own personal rights,” Alexander said.
The full approval is pending for people age 16 years or older. Alexander said she believes if the full approval is granted, it will lead to more vaccine mandates across the country in schools, government agencies and other public environments.
“We could see some change in behavior as we get approval and as those vaccine mandates continue to grow,” Alexander said.