ATLANTA — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is calling upon the acting FDA commissioner to quickly grant full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The governor on Friday tweeted the letter he sent Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock. In his letter, he says Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia’s Department of Public Health commissioner, also sent a similar letter to the FDA and other federal agencies.
“As Governor of the State of Georgia during one of the most tumultuous eras in our country’s history, my administration has prioritized protecting both the lives and livelihoods of Georgians in our fight against COVID-19,” wrote Kemp.
He cites the results of a survey recently released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, in which respondents said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if the FDA gave full approval to the vaccine. It currently has an emergency use authorization.
He concludes by saying, “Each day the Administration delays the inevitable and full approval of the vaccines is lost time we cannot get back.”
A report by the New York Times this week says the FDA wants to grant full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by Labor Day amid a surge in cases attributed to the highly-contagious delta variant.
In Georgia, more than 8 million doses have been administered. Kemp’s letter says more than half of the eligible population in the state has received at least one dose.
Even still, the state – and Southeastern region as a whole -- remain close to the bottom on a list of states ranked by percentage of vaccines administered.
Kemp’s letter says his administration will be announcing new efforts in the coming days to urge vaccinations.