FDA approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine spurs American confidence: Harris Poll

Last week's FDA approval of Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine boosted consumer confidence among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

A Harris Poll survey over the weekend found that 80% of Americans who were aware of the approval now have more confidence in it. Even more encouraging? Almost half (49%) of unvaccinated people who heard about the approval said they will “probably” or “definitely” get vaccinated.

Overall awareness of the Pfizer approval was high—79% of those surveyed by The Harris Poll were aware of the FDA thumbs-up.

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“The FDA approval is definitely resonating,” said Rob Jekielek, managing director at Harris Poll.

That includes among 66% of parents who say the FDA's Comirnaty approval makes them more likely to vaccinate their children—although the latest FDA decision to give Pfizer's vaccine full approval covers ages 16 and older. The vaccine remains under emergency use authorization for kids ages 12 to 15. 

However, there’s a divide between moms and dads, with 74% of dads now more encouraged to vaccinate their kids but only 60% of moms.

Vaccine mandates, already triggered by Comirnaty’s approval last week, were anticipated among the respondents. Eighty-three percent expect an increase in vaccine mandates from employers and others.

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The data also show some restored confidence in the FDA itself: 74% agreed that an FDA approval is enough to determine a safe and effective vaccine.

Of course, cynics also turned out in the survey—86% of respondents believe that the unvaccinated people who used the lack of full FDA approval as an excuse will now come up with another reason to avoid vaccination.