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Good Question: Why hasn’t the FDA fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine yet?

Right now, the FDA says full approval would help ease some vaccine hesitancy. It’s a lengthy process though.
Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines sit in a refrigerator at a mass-vaccination site at the...
Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines sit in a refrigerator at a mass-vaccination site at the former Citizens Bank headquarters in Cranston, R.I., Thursday, June 10, 2021. The U.S. is confronted with an ever-growing surplus of COVID-19 vaccines, looming expiration dates and stubbornly lagging demand at a time when the developing world is clamoring for doses to stem a rise in infections.(David Goldman | AP Photo/David Goldman)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 7:13 PM CDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - “You have the voice to find the answer - why hasn’t the CDC and the FDA given the COVID-19 vaccine anything more than emergency approval?” viewer Jay asked.

Good question, Jay.

Right now, the FDA says full approval would help ease some vaccine hesitancy. It’s a lengthy process though.

The drug company has to do an extensive study and then submit all of that data.

Pfizer announced it put in an application in early May. Moderna put an application in June but it may take at least six months to get an answer.

The FDA says rushing anything would compromise its integrity. In a letter to the New York Times, the top FDA regulator, Peter Marks, explained some of the concerns of rushing.

“Any vaccine approval without completion of the high-quality review and evaluation that Americans expect the agency to perform would undermine the F.D.A.’s statutory responsibilities, affect public trust in the agency and do little to help combat vaccine hesitancy,” Marks wrote.

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