On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Pfizer-coronavirus BioNTech’s vaccine full approval for those aged 16 and up.
In December 2020, the two-dose vaccine was the first to get emergency use authorization from federal regulators, and it will now be the first to be licensed.
The FDA’s full approval could encourage more Americans to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine, as it would alleviate their concerns about the vaccine’s safety.
It could potentially lead to more vaccine mandates, as employers feel more comfortable mandating workers to get a full-authorization vaccine.
The vaccine will be offered for 12-to-15-year-old and as third doses for immunocompromised adults under emergency usage only, according to Pfizer.
Before Monday, Pfizer’s vaccine had only been approved for emergency use, making it relatively experimental despite research indicating that it is safe and effective.
The FDA only required two months of follow-up before authorizing the injection for people 16 and older last year, compared to six months for full approval.
It is also planned that the designation be temporary.
Companies and schools may feel more at ease demanding employees and pupils to obtain it now that it has received complete approval.
In an interview last month, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said, “If vaccinations are completely authorized, that would remove that argument [for not getting vaccinated] off the table.”
‘I believe that if completely licensed, the movement of [vaccine] requirements will accelerate and result in a large number of immunizations.’