On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for people sixteen years old and older. Hopefully, this will encourage those who have used the “but, the vaccines were only approved for emergency use” excuse to get fully vaccinated.
The United States is the only country “to fully approve the shot, according to Pfizer, and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement he hoped the decision ‘will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives.'” However, the Pfizer’s shot still has only emergency authorization for 12- to 15-year-olds and the vaccine is still unavailable to children under 12. Both Pfizer and Moderna are studying youngsters, with data expected in the fall.
The FDA has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety. More than 200 million Pfizer doses already have been administered in the U.S. — and hundreds of millions more worldwide — since emergency use began in December.
“The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”
The FDA’s action also may spur more vaccine mandates by companies, universities and local governments. This month New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco all imposed proof-of-vaccination requirements at restaurants, bars and other indoor venues. At the federal level, President Joe Biden is requiring government workers to sign forms attesting that they’ve been vaccinated or else submit to regular testing and other requirements.
According to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, most Americans favor mask and vaccine mandates in our public schools.
“Mandating becomes much easier when you have full approval,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University. “I think a lot of businesses have been waiting for it.”PBS: