A former head of the Food & Drug Administration, who is now a professor at Duke University, said full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine could give companies even more power to mandate vaccinations.


What You Need to Know  

A Duke University doctor and former head of the FDA said vaccine approval has immediate implications 

Dr. Mark McClellan says FDA approval could be vital in convincing more unvaccinated people to get their shots 

It also gives companies and universities more backing to enforce vaccine mandates 


On Monday, Dr. Mark McClellan spoke at length about the implications during a Zoom question-and-answer session. He said this news will surely embolden business owners to require vaccinations for their employees.

“I expect we’ll see more,” McClellan said.

The expert in health-policy also pointed out how there was already some legal grounds baked into the cake of the FDA emergency use authorization of the Pfizer, Moderna and J & J vaccines for pushing shots on people. 

“It’s important to know that under U.S. law, for emergency use of a vaccine, companies, universities, other institutions already had quite broad authority if there was good reason from the standpoint of the safety of their workplace to require vaccination,” McClellan said. 

Of course, he was quick to mention there can be exceptions to not getting inoculated.

“Now, in that, there has to be an out for people who have medical reasons not to be vaccinated and religious reasons not to be vaccinated,” McClellan said.

In the end, McClellan said the approval could encourage employers to put a vaccine mandate in place if someone wants to physically return to a workplace instead of doing their job from home.

“That’s going to carry over now to the full approval situation. Companies who could do it before, I think they’re going to be more confident now, and I think they’ll get more acceptance from their workers,” he said.