President Joe Biden
said Wednesday that he expects the Food and Drug Administration
to give final approval to the COVID-19 vaccines
used to combat the pandemic
, a step he hopes will help combat lingering skepticism among Americans who have not yet been immunized against the disease.
The president made the remarks at a CNN
town hall event in Ohio
, adding that he has not interfered with any of the science
surrounding the coronavirus
experts have said that full FDA
approval could help ease, but not eliminate, vaccine skepticism, because the inoculations are currently administered under the agency's emergency use authorization provisions.
“They’re not promising me a specific date, but my expectation, after talking to the group of scientists we put together... plus others in the field, is that they’ll get a final approval sometime, maybe at the start of the school
year, at the end of August, beginning September, October,” Biden said.
Biden also stated that he believes children
under the age of 12 will be able to receive vaccinations
“Children 5, 6, 7, 8, they all have different makeups. They’re developing
,” Biden said, adding that scientists were researching the vaccines’ effects in different age groups. “They’re trying to figure out whether or not there’s a vaccination that affects one child at such-and-such an age and not another child. That’s underway.”
That optimism comes just days after the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that all children over the age of two wear masks
in school when they return to in-person learning this year, citing a surge in COVID-19 cases linked to the virus's highly transmissible delta variant
and the fact that many children are still unvaccinated.
“We have a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination,” President Biden says during a CNN live town hall in the midst of rising Covid cases. “So it’s gigantically important that...we all act like Americans who care about our fellow Americans.” https://t.co/pP0y7ug3He
#BidenTownHall pic.twitter.com/lIAiDVSSn3 — CNN Politics
Vaccines remain the best defense against severe COVID-19 cases and death, but they are only available to those aged 12 and up in the United States
Almost all deaths
linked to the pandemic are now among the unvaccinated, according to the president, and concern is especially high in states with low vaccination rates.
“We have a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten the vaccine,” he explained. “It’s that simple.”
On Wednesday, Biden addressed the spread of misinformation
and conspiracy theories
about vaccinations, saying that the “rest of the world is wondering about us” as vaccination rates in the United States remain low.
“What do you tell your grandchildren or children about what’s going on? Do you remember a time like this before in history
, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican
?” the president asked.