Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the Biden administration should not dictate the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses.

In an interview on Face the Nation on Sunday, Sept. 12, Gottlieb suggested the vaccine mandate announced by President Biden last week is not necessary.

“I don’t think we have to reach down to the level of small businesses with 100 or more employees and put a federal requirement on it,” said Gottlieb.

“I don’t think the federal government should be dictating this. I also don’t think governors should be preventing small businesses from making these determinations on their own,” he added.

The former commissioner said that the final decisions on vaccine mandates should be left to local communities.

Gottlieb said that many companies might have mandated vaccines and are waiting for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to finalize their requirement of COVID-19 vaccines. Still, the regulation would take time to enforce and have a slow rollout because it will be litigated.

During the interview, Gottlieb, who serves on Pfizer’s board of directors, also predicted that the FDA would authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11 by the end of October.

“In a best-case scenario, given that timeline they’ve just laid out, you could potentially have a vaccine available to children aged 5 to 11 by Halloween,” Gottlieb said. “If everything goes well, the Pfizer data package is in order, and FDA ultimately makes a positive determination, I have confidence in Pfizer in terms of the data that they’ve collected. But this is really up to the Food and Drug Administration to make an objective determination.”

At present, the COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for children ages 12 to 15.

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