President Joe Biden on Monday urged more American companies to require COVID-19 vaccines, just hours after the U.S. formally approved the shot from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.
Speaking at the White House, Biden also appealed to the unvaccinated by saying, “the moment you’ve been waiting for is here.” He called FDA approval of the Pfizer
vaccine the “gold standard,” and urged employers: “require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”
The approval, announced Monday morning, applies to people who are at least 16 years old. It was the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive a formal FDA approval.
As the U.S. faces a surge of coronavirus cases tied to the delta variant, Biden called it “dangerous and spreading.”
“Please, get your shot today,” Biden said.
About 170.8 million people in the U.S., or 51.5% of the total population, are now fully vaccinated, as of Aug. 22, and 201.2 million, or 71%, of those who qualify for the vaccine, have received at least one shot.
In August, U.S. businesses suffered some erosion in growth for the third month in a row owing to the rise of the delta variant and ongoing shortages of labor and materials, according to a pair of new surveys.