(RepublicanInformer.com)- The Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer/BioNTech full approval this week for administration of its COVID-19 vaccine for people who are 16 years old and older.
This marks the first coronavirus vaccine that has received full approval from the FDA. Before now, all COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered have been done based on emergency use authorization the FDA issued due to the serious nature of the pandemic.
The Pfizer vaccine first received emergency use authorization since the middle of December 2020. In May, its vaccine received the same approval for use in children who are 12 years old and older.
It has also been approved for use as a third dose booster for individuals who are immunocompromised. It’s also likely to receive emergency approval as a third dose booster shot for all people in the U.S. this fall.
It’s possible now that the vaccine has received full FDA approval that vaccine mandates could increase around the country — at schools, businesses and in other aspects of life.
Thus far, more than 92 million Americans have received the Pfizer vaccine, out of the roughly 170 million who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
During a briefing that was held this week following the announcement of full approval, the acting commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said:
“While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA approved Covid-19 vaccine, the public can be confident that this vaccine meets the FDA’s gold standard for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality that we require for an approved product.
“Health care providers can continue to use the vaccine on their shelves. The FDA-approved vaccine and the EUA-authorized vaccine have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the Covid-19 vaccine series.”
Medical experts are hoping that the full FDA approval will convince more Americans to get vaccinated. Many have speculated that some unvaccinated people have resisted getting the shot thus far because the drug hadn’t received full approval from the FDA.
In July, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey that found that 16% of unvaccinated American adults they surveyed said they haven’t gotten the vaccine yet because it hasn’t been tested enough or is too new.
Will the fact that it has received full approval tip these people over the edge? Only time will tell whether this proves to be true. But, even if it does, that’s still a relatively small percentage of unvaccinated people who may get the shot.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, spoke to this over the weekend, and also to the likelihood that new vaccine mandates could be implemented. He said:
“For businesses and universities that have been thinking about putting vaccine requirements in place in order to create safer spaces for people to work and learn, I think that this move from the FDA, when it comes, will actually help them to move forward with those kinds of plans.”