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FDA approved

Pfizer shot gets thumbs up, college requirements to follow
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday, becoming the first version of the inoculation to move past authorization for emergency use to the FDA’s highest endorsement.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will be allowed to continue distributing their vaccines under their Emergency Use Authorizations, according to the FDA.

The approval opens the door for higher education institutions across Louisiana to add the COVID vaccine to their lists of required immunizations.

The LSU, University of Louisiana and Southern University systems had each been waiting on the FDA approval in order to do just that.

Presidents of ULS universities were reportedly meeting Monday morning in response to the FDA approval. Tech and GSU’s communications offices had no statements on the matter by press time Monday.

Once the immunization is added to the requirement list, students can be granted exemptions on medical, religious or philosophical grounds. Medical exemptions require a doctor’s note, while religous or philosophical dissent simply requires written notice signed by the student or, if the student is a minor, a parent or guardian.

This applies to all required inoculations in Louisiana schools.

The FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine currently extends to age 16 and up.

Gov. John Bel Edwards applauded the FDA approval in a Monday statement, calling it a “historic moment in our journey out of this COVID-19 pandemic.”

“It is my fervent hope that any Louisianan who was waiting for the FDA approval of the vaccine will take action to immediately receive their shot,” he said. “We are optimistic that our numbers will grow as we fight together to end this COVID pandemic once and for all.”

As of Monday at noon, 17,948 Lincoln Parish residents had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

That’s about 37% of the total parish population as listed in the new 2020 census data.

More than 2.2 million people across Louisiana have received at least one dose, which equals about 48% of the total population.

The state as a whole added 69,754 new doses administered since the last update on Thursday.

Classes began Aug. 16 at GSU and will begin on Sept. 9 at Tech.