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Fauci: Lack of full FDA approval for COVID-19 vaccines merely a 'technical issue'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, said Sunday that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) did "have a point" when he said COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in his state can at least partly be attributed to the lack of full authorization for the shots from the Food and Drug Administration. 

"There are certainly some people who, when you use the terminology 'emergency use authorization,' they kinda think it's ... tenuous data showing that it works so that it's safe," Fauci told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on the latest edition of This Week. For some products that is indeed the case, but the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines' safety and effectiveness are now supported by data taken from "hundreds of millions of people" from around the world, Fauci explained. 

"So although it's understandable — quite understandable — that some people might say, well 'we want to wait for the full approval,' that's really only a technical issue," Fauci said. "It's the FDA dotting the I's and crossing the T's. But there's no doubt in my mind that these vaccines are going to get full approval because of the extraordinary amount of positive data."