Following months of further safety and effectiveness data, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be the first to get full FDA clearance.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Could Receive Full Approval This Week
In a recently published article in CNET, the US Food and Drug Administration may grant Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine final clearance as soon as Monday. On Friday, regulators were said to be trying to complete documentation and talks with the business.
Pfizer's two-dose vaccination is presently being administered in the United States under an emergency use license issued in December. In May, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech applied to the FDA for full clearance. Meanwhile, the other COVID-19 vaccines administered in the country are also under emergency use authorization.
Moreover, with the "imminent" complete approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine anticipated, physicians predict that more companies will issue vaccination requirements to help avoid the Delta strain from dragging the country farther behind in this pandemic. However, a top government official stated that permission is "imminent" although no date has been given, according to CNN News.
Why Is the Full Approval Important?
The surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, said on Sunday that full government clearance of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine would allow companies and institutions to mandate immunizations, encouraging reluctant Americans to receive the vaccine.
Murthy believes that this decision by the FDA will actually assist companies and institutions go ahead with vaccination mandates in order to create safer environments for people to work and study in, according to a published article in The New York Times.
On the other hand, companies do not need full FDA clearance to require the COVID-19 vaccination. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, they already have the legal power to do so. However, complete consent may reduce the strength of any legal challenge.
MIllions Have Been Inoculated; CDC, FDA Sign off a Third Shot
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 203 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been given in the United States. The FDA and CDC approved a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations for certain immunocompromised individuals last week.
On Wednesday, Biden administration health officials said that fully immunized individuals who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines would be eligible for a booster injection beginning next month. Moderna is also pursuing FDA clearance for its COVID-19 vaccine, but a decision is expected to take several weeks longer.
Needless to say, statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that over 1 million doses were given out on Saturday for the third day in a row. Since the first week of July, it was the highest number of doses given.
However, it is important to note that the vaccinations take two weeks to completely take effect following the last dosage. According to the CDC, a vaccinated person should continue to take all measures until he or she is completely vaccinated. This means that wearing of facemask, social distancing, and handwashing should still be observed and practiced at all times.