The FDA has granted full authorization to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16-years and older.
The Pfizer mRNA vaccine became the first candidate to be administered under the emergency use authorization (EUA) back in December and is now the first to receive full approval. While millions of doses have already been given, many Americans have expressed that they were hesitant to get vaccinated until full approval had been granted. Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock believes this will have a positive impact on the nation’s vaccination rate.
“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,”“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 U.S,” She said.
For children between the ages of 12 and 15, the Pfizer vaccine remains available under the EUA.
Like all other vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine’s biologics license application (BLA) was reviewed by the FDA and it was determined that the shot met the agency’s standard. A release states that the “BLA builds on the extensive data and information previously submitted that supported the EUA, such as preclinical and clinical data and information, as well as details of the manufacturing process, vaccine testing results to ensure vaccine quality and inspections of the sites where the vaccine is made.”
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also continue to be administered under the EUA.
In Mississippi, vaccinations have increased in recent weeks as the Delta variant continues to cause a surge in cases numbers and hospitalizations across the state. Overall, the state’s vaccination rate remains the second-lowest in the county at 36.8%, slightly above Alabama’s 36.3%.
Former President Donald Trump visited Mississippi’s neighbor to the east over the weekend and publicly offered his voice to the pro-vaccination effort.
“I believe totally in your freedoms, I do…but I recommend, take the vaccines. I did it, it’s good,” he said and was met with boos from a portion of the crowd.
“That’s okay, that’s alright. You got your freedoms, but I happened to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know,” he responded before saying that the vaccine is working.
Data supports the former president and the health officials across America who continue to stress the importance of the vaccine. In Mississippi, 98% of new cases and an overwhelming majority of hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.