Vials containing doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are viewed at a clinic on April 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images
US FDA approves first Covid-19 vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older. This is the first coronavirus vaccine approved by the FDA, and is expected to open the door to more vaccine mandates.
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.
Out of more than 170 million people in the United States fully vaccinated against Covid-19, more than 92 million have received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Albert Bourla, the chair and chief executive officer of Pfizer, said the decision reaffirms the vaccine’s safety.
“Based on the longer-term follow-up data that we submitted, today’s approval for those aged 16 and over affirms the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine at a time when it is urgently needed. I am hopeful this approval will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives and achieve herd immunity. Hundreds of millions of doses of our vaccine already have been administered in the U.S. since December 2020, and we look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. government to reach more Americans,” Bourla said.