Pfizer has full FDA approval, doctors ask why vaccine isn’t a school mandate

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MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Now that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there are still questions. Such as why the vaccine has not been mandated in schools?

ValleyCentral asked the Hidalgo County Health Authority if the vaccine should be excluded from the list of mandatory school immunizations for students. 

On Aug. 23 Pfizer was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be granted full approval from the FDA. Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said when it was granted approval, that is when the misinformation should have ceased and been a part of mandates for immunizations in schools.  

“The excuse used to be since it’s under emergency authorization, you cannot force them. Now that Pfizer is fully approved like the rest of them there are running out of excuses,” said Melendez. 

Upon full FDA approval of age groups within middle and high school grade levels, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine as a requirement to attend school in person, making it a part of the list of immunizations required to attend school.

Dr. Melendez said that is not the case in Texas. He said he doesn’t see a reason why the vaccine is not included on the list of requirements in the Lone Star State. 

“There’s no medical public health justifiable that says yes to the mumps, no to the covid, there just is, why it is, it has nothing to do with science that’s what I would say,” said Melendez. 

Melendez added that the COVID-19 vaccine should be taken as seriously as the other vaccines mandated in schools. 

“The covid vaccine should be treated, from a public health perspective, the same way other vaccine mandates are.” He said, “this is another example in my opinion that there is no medical justification for them to exclude one vaccine instead of all of them.”

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