Georgia Gov. Kemp says FDA needs to upgrade its authorization for vaccines

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempGeorgia Gov. Kemp says FDA needs to upgrade its authorization for vaccines The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Savannah becomes first major city in Georgia to reinstate masks MORE (R) is calling on President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: ‘There will be no nationwide mandate’ Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE to push the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide full approval for the COVID-19 vaccine, upgrading it from the lesser emergency authorization.

“I’d love to see the Biden administration put an ‘Operation Warp Speed’ on moving away from the emergency use authorization,” Kemp told reporters Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

Kemp said he’s heard from people that they won’t get the vaccine as long as it is only under emergency authorization by the FDA.

Pfizer and Moderna have already submitted applications to become fully approved by the FDA, but it is not clear how long approval will take.

The goal is to have the vaccines fully approved in six months, according to the FDA. This means the vaccines would be fully approved at the beginning of 2022.

The vaccines are currently under emergency authorization for all adults, and Pfizer has emergency authorization for those ages 12 and up.

“We know that the vaccines work,” Kemp said. “I want to encourage people to get vaccinated if you’re comfortable doing that.”

Kemp’s call for full approval comes as Georgia is experiencing a rise in cases with more than 4,800 positive coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to the AP.

Kemp condemned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent move to suggest fully vaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors in some areas of the country after the agency said in May fully vaccinated individuals no longer needed masks in most situations.

“When you tell them they can get vaccinated and then take their mask off and then you turn around weeks later and reverse that, who’s gonna trust anybody, any politician, Republican, Democrat, or otherwise?” Kemp said.

Georgia only has 39 percent of its residents fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.