FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for people age 16 and older, a move that could encourage more vaccine-hesitant people to get the shot.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for people age 16 and older.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in the United States since mid-December for people age 16 and older. In May, the authorization was extended to those 12 and older.

This is the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full authorization from the federal government. Health experts are hoping the approval will encourage more vaccine-hesitant people in the U.S. to get the shot, especially as the country experiences a surge in COVID cases largely driven by the Delta variant.

More than 170 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Of those, more than 92 million have received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still available in the U.S. under emergency use authorization granted by the FDA.

The full authorization is likely to usher in a wave of new vaccine mandates by local governments and businesses.

62.4% of adults in the U.S. were fully vaccinated as of Sunday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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