Pfizer becomes first Covid vaccine globally to get full USFDA approval

So far, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine had only the emergency use authorisation approval for all categories of people.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021 by The Health Master

American drug regulator, the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for the prevention of Covid 19 in individuals 16 years of age and older.

The vaccine will, however, be available under emergency use authorisation (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, the USFDA said.

So far, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine had only the emergency use authorisation approval for all categories of people.

Medicine Injection Vaccine
Picture: Pixabay

“The USFDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the USFDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorisation, as the first USFDA-approved Covid-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the USFDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting USFDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.

He said while millions of people have already safely received Covid-19 vaccines, the USFDA recognised that for some, its approval may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated.

Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the US, the USFDA chief added. 

Since December 11, 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine has been available under EUA in individuals 16 years of age and older, and the authorization was expanded to include those 12 through 15 years of age on May 10, 2021.

EUAs can be used by the USFDA during public health emergencies to provide access to medical products that may be effective in preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease, provided that the USFDA determines that the known and potential benefits of a product, when used to prevent, diagnose, or treat the disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

USFDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products.

“Our scientific and medical experts conducted an incredibly thorough and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine. We evaluated scientific data and information included in hundreds of thousands of pages, conducted our own analyses of safety and effectiveness, and performed a detailed assessment of the manufacturing processes, including inspections of the manufacturing facilities,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of USFDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

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