Monday morning, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The move will likely spur more vaccine mandates across the country and some speculate it will increase vaccination rates.
The Hill reports:
The federal agency reached the milestone of issuing the first complete authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine after an approximately three-month review of Pfizer’s and its German partner BioNTech’s application to the FDA for full approval.
With slightly more than half of the total U.S. population fully vaccinated, experts and Biden administration officials are hopeful the agency’s full approval will serve as a catalyst for vaccinations in the country.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, like the other two available in the U.S., had been given emergency use authorization allowing it to be administered only during the public health emergency. But under the full authorization, the FDA is giving permission for patients to get the shots once the public health emergency is declared over.
With the emergency use authorization, more than 204 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been administered across the country, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
Pfizer was the first drug company to be given emergency approval in December.