Full FDA approval of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in days, reports say

FILE - In this July 22, 2021, file photo, health care worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. U.S. health officials Wednesday, Aug. 18, recommended all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and evidence that the vaccines' effectiveness is falling. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) (Mary Altaffer, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Food and Drug Administration will grant full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine in the coming days, according to multiple reports.

A senior federal official told CNN on Friday approval for the vaccine is “imminent,” but said no date has been set.

A person familiar with plan told CNN the decision is expected early next week, and a Biden administration official said approval of the two-dose vaccine “could be as early as Monday.”

So far the FDA has only granted emergency-use approval of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that he was hopeful the FDA would give full approval to the coronavirus vaccine by month’s end and predicted the potential move will spur a wave of vaccine mandates in the private sector as well as schools and universities.

The Biden administration has stated that the federal government will not mandate vaccinations beyond the federal workforce, but is increasingly urging state and local governments as well as businesses to consider such mandates. Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said “mandates at the local level need to be done” to help curb the spread of the virus.

Fauci’s comments come as the Biden administration is weighing what levers it can push to encourage more unvaccinated Americans to get their shots as the delta variant continues to surge through much of the United States.