ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approvedthe Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine shots for people ages 16 and up, the fastest vaccine approval in the agency’s history. That move gives companies another reason to impose vaccine mandates and industry groups more ground to lobby authorities.
“Many companies have made the decision to mandate vaccines for some or all of their employees, and we applaud their decision,” the Business Roundtable said in a statement. “We also encourage policymakers, including at the state and local levels, to support—not impede—companies’ ability to make such a decision.”
More public sector employers are introducing mandates, easing the way for private employers to do the same. New York City said it would require all 148,000 employees of the city’s Education Department to be vaccinated, and the Pentagon is requiring its 1.4 million service members to receive the shot by mid-September, reports the New York TimesOther companies mandating that some or all employees receive vaccinations include Chevron, CVS Health and Disney World.
Following this week’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, the American Medical Association (AMA) urged public and private sectors to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, saying the move is key to getting control of the pandemic, reports TheHill.com.
As the country's leading doctor group, the AMA wants to speed that process along. “The simple fact is unless a significant percentage of our population is vaccinated against COVID-19, we could be stuck fighting this virus for many more months or even years to come," AMA President Gerald Harmon said in a statement. "Now is the time for the public and private sectors to come together, listen to the science and mandate vaccination."
The statement joins a call from President Biden, who on Monday urged employers to mandate vaccines for their employees. Moderna’s application for full approval of its vaccine was filed in June, and Johnson & Johnson is expected to apply for full approval soon.
Don’t forget to register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on the “new normal,” including the sessions Meeting Consumers Where They Are—Everywhere and A New Approach to Dayparts on October 5, Moving Forward in the Post-Pandemic Economy and Drive-Thru and Curbside: Is This the Future for C-Stores? on October 6 and Moving On: Easing Guests Post Pandemic Fears on October 7.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.