President Joe Biden urged private sector companies to “step up” COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Monday, hours after the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine.
“Today I’m calling on more companies in the private sector to step up the vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people,” Biden said.
“If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, state or local leader who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that,” he added.
The president also called on unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated.
“If you’re one of the millions of Americans who said they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA – it has now happened,” Biden said. “The moment you were waiting for is here. It’s time for you to go get your vaccination.”
Biden’s call to action came hours after the FDA announced full approval for the Pfizer shots for individuals 16 years and older.
Last month, the president announced that federal employees will be required to sign forms attesting they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or else be subject to rules on mandatory masking, weekly testing, distancing and more.
“Do what I did last month,” Biden said Monday. “Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”
After the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Department of Defense will issue new guidelines requiring vaccines for members of the military.
Mandatory vaccination has been given renewed consideration as concern grows over the highly contagious delta variant. The new variant is spreading rapidly in areas with low vaccination rates.
According to the CDC, 71 percent of Americans 12 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 60.2 percent are fully vaccinated.