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FDA approval of COVID vaccine prompts action [Opinion]

It didn’t take long.

In fact, some already were there.

They had moved past the point of asking people to get vaccinated. 

They had urged people to consider it, stopping just short of begging them to take action.

Some employers had warned their workers that they would require the vaccine when the FDA removed the emergency use authorization label.

Then the FDA on Monday did just that, giving full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Medical experts hoped that action would help ease the concerns of some of those who said they were reluctant to get the shot while it was approved for only emergency use.

“In my opinion, I think that’s great news because there were a lot of people that were not comfortable getting something that only had emergency approval,” Dipak Patel, owner and pharmacist at the Medicine Shoppe of Shillington, told Reading Eagle reporter David Mekeel hours after the announcement. “It’s a big deal.”


Dipak Patel, owner and pharmacist at the Medicine Shoppe of Shillington (Ben Hasty — Reading Eagle)

But it didn’t take long for some to cry foul yet again, that the full approval was rushed and they didn’t trust the process.

That should clear up any uncertainty you may have had about the meaning of the phrase “moving the goal posts.”

Lately those goal posts have been outfitted with wheels.

But it also didn’t take long for others to spring into action.

Removing the “emergency” tag makes it easier for businesses to require their employees to be vaccinated. 

A posting on the Society for Human Resource Management’s website reads:

“Under guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers generally can mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees who physically enter the workplace without running afoul of the federal anti-discrimination laws the EEOC enforces. However, businesses that require employees to get vaccinated need to consider religious and disability-related objections and explore reasonable accommodations.”

Another way some are approaching the vaccination effort is through their workers’ wallets. 

The Associated Press reported Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said employees not vaccinated by Nov. 1 will be subject to a $200 monthly insurance surcharge. 

Delta said the average hospital stay for COVID costs the company $50,000 a person.

“This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Bastion wrote in a memo to employees.

All Delta workers not fully vaccinated will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests beginning Sept. 12 and continuing for as long as community case rates remain high, the company said. 

Some colleges are requiring students to be vaccinated to return to campus.

The AP reported West Virginia Wesleyan College will charge students who don’t submit proof of vaccination or the first shot of vaccination by Sept. 7 a $750 nonrefundable fee, and students who get the virus and can’t quarantine off campus will be charged $250 for on-campus quarantining.

“The fee is going to be used to cover the expenses that will come with increased testing and other resources that the college will have to utilize and deploy to keep every student safe,” Dean James Moore said.

Returning to normal has long been the goal through this pandemic, and some of those normal activities are doing their part.

When my wife and I went to see “Springsteen on Broadway” we had to show our vaccination cards and photo ID to get in and wear masks during the performance. The theater also accepted proof of a negative COVID test. 

The 2021 Made in America festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 4 and 5 is doing the same for admittance. In addition, attendees to the outdoor event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be required to mask up. 

With more of these efforts taking place, we can all hope it won’t take much longer before this is all behind us.

Source: Berkshire mont

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