Aug 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday granted full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE for use in people over 16 years of age. , the first full go-ahead for a coronavirus dose.
The vaccine had been licensed for emergency use since December and has already been received by more than 204 million people in the United States, according to data available Sunday.
However, none of the three licensed COVID-19 vaccines had previously received full FDA approval.
Public health authorities hope the approval will convince more people that Pfizer’s vaccine is safe and effective. Vaccination vacillation by some Americans has hampered America’s response to the new coronavirus.
“While millions of people have already received COVID-19 vaccines safely, we recognize that for some, FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” said Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner from the FDA.
To date, about 51% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, even as a recent surge in infections caused by the contagious Delta variant plagues parts of the country with low inoculation rates.
(Reporting by Michael Erman in New Jersey and Manas Mishra in Bangalore; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)