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The New York Times: F.D.A. Fully Approves Pfizer-BioNTech’s Vaccine, a First for a COVID-19 Shot

From The New York Times:

On Monday morning, the F.D.A. granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 16 and up.

It is the first vaccine to move beyond emergency-use status in the U.S., and officials hope it will persuade some of the 85 million unvaccinated Americans who are eligible for shots but have not received them.

Data from 44,000 clinical trial participants in the United States, the European Union, Turkey, South Africa and South America showed the vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing infection. So far, more than 92 million Americans — 54 percent of those fully inoculated — have gotten Pfizer shots; most of the rest received Moderna’s vaccine.

Some experts also hope that the approval may convince people who are on the fence. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that three of every 10 unvaccinated people said that they would be more likely to get a shot that had been fully approved.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the chief health officer for Mississippi, said the F.D.A. move would help “shake loose this false assertion that the vaccines are an ‘experimental’ thing.”

Others were less optimistic. “I think that is a vanishingly small number of people in real life,” said Alison Buttenheim, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and expert on vaccine hesitancy.

More important, she said, would be the effect of requirements: “Mandates simplify things for people.” Read the full story at The New York Times. 

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