The Pfizer vaccine is the first coronavirus vaccine to be granted full approval by the FDA.
A vaccine for the coronavirus has finally been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On Monday, August 23, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adults 16 and older. The company will be marketing the approved vaccine to the market under the name Comirnaty.
The vaccine was granted emergency use early last year and has been the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children aged 12 to 16.
Delta, a more transmissible and deadlier variant of the coronavirus has increased case rates and hospitalizations around the country, forcing some hospitals to cancel elective surgeries. Health officials are hoping full FDA approval will encourage people on the fence to get the vaccine. Currently, only about 60 percent of the people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, and the percentage varies from state to state.
“I am hopeful this approval will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives and achieve herd immunity," said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “Hundreds of millions of doses of our vaccine already have been administered in the U.S. since December 2020, and we look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. government to reach more Americans now that we have FDA approval.”
A fully approved vaccine also is strengthening efforts by businesses to require employees and patrons to get vaccinated. Booster shots for both Comirnaty and the Moderna vaccine have been submitted for emergency use approval and should be available near the end of September. Johnson & Johnson is also reviewing data to determine how and when a booster will be released for their single-dose vaccine.
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