On Monday, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer BioNTech two-dose vaccine for individuals aged 16-years-old and older in the United States.
The Pfizer vaccine was the first vaccine to be authorized in the US in December under emergency authorization, after an impressive showing in trials.
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According to NBC News, Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the FDA, released the following statement: “The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“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. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the US,” the statement continued.
Pfizer’s Albert Bourla followed Woodcock’s optimistic statement: “I am hopeful this approval will help increase confidence in our vaccine.”
“Vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives,” Bourla said.
Federal officials have already announced that Americans will be eligible for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine eight months after their second dose. However, the FDA has yet to pronounce on the safety and effectiveness of a potential third dose.
The federal government’s emergency authorization of the Pfizer vaccine and others continues to be valid, and is thought to stay valid indefinitely while the world still grapples with the novel coronavirus.