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Why are the COVID vaccines still being distributed under an emergency use authorization?

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This seems like an exercise in the kind of extreme bureaucratic formalism that morphs into regulatory irrationality. Right now American public health authorities are — properly! — committed to trying to get every adult and every child 12 and over vaccinated as soon as possible.

Under these circumstances, failing to fully authorize the vaccines is nonsensical. With two thirds of the adult population already vaccinated, do public health bureaucrats think that, in the the highly unlikely event that some sort of long-term problem with the vaccines emerges, pointing to their EUA status is going to somehow placate people who have seen these same authorities — again, appropriately — spend this entire year doing everything they can (short of fully authorizing the vaccines) to get as close to everyone as possible vaccinated?

I don’t know how much it would help to move to full authorization, but it would certainly make it much easier for all sorts of institutions, such as for example the military, to legally require vaccination. And there are some unknown number of people who would be moved off the fence by full authorization.

As the Delta variant picks up steam, continuing to withhold full authorization until whatever maze of bureaucratic procedures has been run however many times they need to be run before formally authorizing vaccines that have already been given to more than one billion people around the world is simply perverse.

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