The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued full approval to the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic," acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. "While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product.”
The full approval for the vaccine, which will now be marketed under the name "Comirnaty," applies to people 16 and older. The vaccine is still available for kids aged 12 through 15 under emergency use authorization.
Top health officials in the U.S. hope that granting full approval to the Pfizer vaccine will alleviate the fears among those who remain hesitant about getting a shot.
Full approval also opens the door for more government departments and businesses to issue vaccine mandates. For example, the Pentagon earlier this month said it would require all military members to get vaccinated by Sept. 15, though Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin said he would issue an order making the shots mandatory "immediately upon licensure" by the FDA.