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The FDA Needs To Speed Up Full Approval Of COVID-19 Vaccines, Physician Says

Full approval of the coronavirus vaccines would reassure the public that they are safe, says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.
Patrick T. Fallon
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Full approval of the coronavirus vaccines would reassure the public that they are safe, says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.

Full FDA approval of the coronavirus vaccines would go a long way toward convincing the vaccine hesistant to get the shot, says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.

Dr. Leana Wen in 2019.
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Pool/Getty Images
Dr. Leana Wen in 2019.

"But more importantly, I think it will convince some businesses that are currently on the fence about vaccine requirements to actually go that step and make the vaccines mandatory for employees," Wen says in a conversation with Morning Edition's A Martínez.

We're already well past the six-month mark for collecting enough safety data to determine if full approval should go ahead, she says.

Besides reassuring the public that vaccines are safe, full approval would allow pharmaceutical companies to do marketing. That would help with public education, Wen notes.

The delay in fully greenlighting the vaccines has led to public confusion about the approval process, she says.

How to fix that? Outline the procedure, step by step, so that "people will know that it wasn't just politics driving this process."


This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

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