The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Thursday declined to comment on recently revealed revelations that Pfizer is not currently shipping its fully Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine called Comirnaty in the United States.
Instead, Pfizer continues to ship – and healthcare providers continue to distribute – the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which has only received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the FDA.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the United States’ COVID-19 response, touted the FDA’s approval of Comirnaty on August 23, the date that the government agency gave the vaccine its stamp of full approval.
“There are those individuals who understandably, in some respects, don’t want to get vaccinated until they get the full stamp of approval. I believe that that will mean – and this is purely an estimate,” he said on NPR. “But I think there are probably about 20 or more percent of people who are not getting vaccinated among the 90 million or so people who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not gotten vaccinated – I believe that those people will now step forward and get vaccinated. So you’re going to have a group of people who otherwise would not have got vaccinated.”
He also used the full FDA approval to justify vaccine mandates.
“But that’s not the only thing, Mary Louise. What I think is going to be equally as impactful would be that there are going to be organizations and enterprises and companies – whoever – are going to feel much more empowered now to mandate vaccines,” he said.
Fauci never mentioned that Pfizer had not (and still has not) begun shipping Comirnaty for use in the United States.
Asked today whether it thinks it should clarify this distinction for the public, the NIH declined to comment, instead passing the buck to the FDA.
“I looked into your question and this is a topic for the FDA and/or the manufacturer to address,” Ken Pekoc, a spokesman for the National Institute of Allergies and Infection Diseases (NIAID), the branch of the NIH overseeing the COVID-19 response told The Star News Network.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also failed to clarify this distinction.
That government agency did not respond to a comment request.
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