The FDA, the US food and drug agency, granted this Monday (23) the full approval of the covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech for use by persons over 16 years of age.
The immunizing agent has been authorized for emergency use since December and more than 204 million people in the United States received this vaccine, based on Sunday’s data. None of the three authorized covid-19 vaccines had previously received full FDA approval.
Public health officials hope this will convince more unvaccinated Americans that Pfizer’s vaccine is safe and effective. Vaccination hesitation among some Americans has hindered the US response to the new coronavirus.
“Although millions of people have safely received covid-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, FDA approval of a vaccine can now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” said Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner.
Only about 51% of Americans have so far been fully vaccinated. A recent outbreak of infections caused by the contagious Delta variant is plaguing parts of the country with low vaccination rates.