An Israeli health worker displays a vial of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the Maccabi Health Service in Jerusalem. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 1:30 PM PT – Monday, August 23, 2021
The FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. On Monday, the vaccine became the first to receive full approval beyond emergency use authorization.
The FDA said it hoped the move would help encourage hesitant Americans 16 years of age and older to finally get the shot. The U.S. surgeon general said he believed full approval would lead to an increase in vaccination rates.
“This is a pivotal moment for our country in the fight against the pandemic,” FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock explained. “…The public can be confident that this vaccine meets the FDA’s gold standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality that we require for an approved product.”
Meanwhile, concerns have grown that full approval may open up new opportunities for vaccine mandates.