As expected, the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. The move clears the path for widespread vaccine mandates and comes as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to pose health risks and threatens the nation’s economic recovery.
Up until now, the FDA had allowed vaccines to be distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization that was granted in December.
Pfizer’s vaccine met the agency’s “high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “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.”
The FDA will hold a media briefing to discuss the approval at 11 a.m. EST.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.