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Rep.Lopez, Ray

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Representative Ray Lopez's Statement on the FDA Approval of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine 
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by: Rep. Lopez, Ray

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for persons aged 16 years or older, making it the first of three COVID-19 shots available in the U.S. to be upgraded from an emergency use authorization (EUA) to full approval.

"Today’s landmark approval by the FDA of the Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine puts us all one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the in Texas. While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, it is my sincere hope that for some who have been waiting, the FDA approval of a vaccine now instills additional confidence to get vaccinated. As we see by the current uptick in hospitalizations throughout our state, vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives and achieve herd immunity. Unfortunately, what we are seeing in our hospitals is a "pandemic of the youth and unvaccinated." With the FDA's approval for those 16 and older, I am hopeful parents will now take a second look at vaccinating their children before they go back to school or attend a crowded College or University,” stated Representative Lopez.

The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. The full approval could make it easier for employers, the military and universities to mandate vaccination.

"With today’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, it is now worth revisiting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates which applies only to “vaccines administered under an emergency use authorization." We have required vaccinations in our schools and medical care facilities to prevent spread of diseases such as smallpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, and vaccines can help do the same for COVID-19. It is time we stop politicizing medicine, and start focusing on saving Texans’ lives," detailed Rep. Lopez.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be marketed under the name Comirnaty.

COVID-19 has killed more than 628,500 people in the US since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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