The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Monday (August 23) they granted full approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine which gained emergency-use authorization in December 2020. It’s the first vaccine to secure a full approval notion from the FDA as health authorities across the globe continue to attempt to win over skeptics regarding vaccines in the face of COVID.
The two-dose vaccine has been approved for individuals age 16 and older. Health officials hope the action by the FDA will aid more unvaccinated individuals to trust Pfizer’s shot to be safe and effective and could be used to help employ vaccine mandates for state, local governments and private employers.
“While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s acting commissioner said in a statement.
Last December, the FDA gave emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine for individuals age 16 and older. In May, emergency use authorization was granted for people ages 12 and up. The full authorization does not give final approval for individuals between ages 12 and 15. None of the three available COVID-19 vaccines on the market who were granted emergency-use authorization, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – has previously received full approval by the FDA.
Based on recent data, more than 204 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine since last December. The full approval now clears the way for physicians and other health officials to call for a third Pfizer shot as a booster for individuals who believe they could benefit from additional protection from COVID.