INDIANAPOLIS – As the FDA is expected to allow third booster doses of the COVID vaccine for some Americans, there are growing calls from elected officials on the FDA to give the vaccines full approval.
Many experts and officials say full FDA approval would likely encourage more people to get vaccinated.
State data shows just over half of all eligible Hoosiers are fully vaccinated, and according to doctors, that number needs to be higher for Indiana to defeat COVID-19.
“I think there is a huge incentive at this point, given what we’re seeing, for folks to go ahead and get vaccinated,” Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan Health – Central Indiana, said of the recent COVID-19 surge.
More elected officials are joining Gov. Eric Holcomb’s call on the FDA to grant the COVID-19 vaccines full authorization.
“I think he, like myself, we share an interest in making sure Hoosiers are safe and Americans are safe as well,” said Rep. André Carson (D-Indiana).
Carson said whether it’s about vaccines or masks, he believes combating misinformation is critical in the fight against COVID.
“Now, with the delta variant, I think all hands need to be on deck,” Carson said. “I think we need to push out, push away from the misinformation that’s out there that trivializes the expertise of health care professionals.”
One of the least vaccinated groups in Indiana is kids between the ages of 12 and 17. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Indiana) said she believes full FDA approval of the vaccines would make parents more confident about getting their children vaccinated.
“I think regular approval will help much more parents to make that decision if they decide to do that,” Rep. Spartz said.
Spartz said she also believes it’s about making sure Hoosiers have accurate information, adding that she feels transparency in the FDA’s approval process will be key to getting more people vaccinated.
“I think that is a parent’s choice we should provide to people, but I think we have to provide transparent information that parents can make this decision so then more parents will feel more comfortable,” Spartz said.