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White House officials are urging COVID-19 vaccine skeptics to get immunized now that Pfizer's two-dose shot has been given full FDA approval.
"We know that there are Americans who were waiting for the FDA process to be completed before getting the shot,"Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said during a briefing Tuesday. "For those Americans, the wait is over. Now is the time to join the more than 200 million Americans who have already rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated."
Many Americans have voiced concerns over the last several months about the emergency use status of available coronavirus vaccines. As of Monday, Pfizer's vaccine has shed that label and been given full approval.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, called the approval a "key milestone for our country's vaccination efforts."
"We know some people have been waiting for this next step to be completed before they get vaccinated,"he said. "If that's you, the time to get vaccinated is now."
He continued: "Do it for your own health, do it for our children who aren't able to get vaccinated and rely on the rest of us to shield them from infection. Do it for our health care workers who are running on fumes as they struggle to care for COVID-19 patients in overflowing hospitals for the fourth time during this pandemic. And do it for your community, which needs more people like you to get vaccinated to return to normal."
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
The most recent 7-day average of daily cases is 137,000 — nearly a 12% increase from the prior average. Deaths increased 23% to 739 per day.
But vaccinations are also on the rise. There are now 171 million Americans fully vaccinated, and there were 6 million shots administered in the last 7 days — the highest 7-day total in over a month and a half.
News briefing, White House COVID-19 Response Team, Aug. 24, 2021.