FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This is the first FDA approved COVID-19 vaccination.

Photo by Gustavo Fring via Pexels

This FDA approval — which was announced August 23 — covers the first two doses for adults and teenagers over the age of sixteen. Individuals aged 12 to 15 are still eligible for vaccination under the emergency use authorization (EUA). Immunocompromised adults are also eligible for a third booster dose.

The vaccination will now be known and marketed as as "Comirnaty."

The first dose of the Pfizer vaccination was administered December 8, 2020, just a week after the FDA authorized its emergency use. Margaret Keenan, a 91-year-old from Coventry, England, was its recipient. 

"My advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too,” Keenan said.

In an FDA press release, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said this approval is "a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."

"We recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated," Woodcock said. "Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

President Joe Biden shared the FDA's tweet and added, "If you're not vaccinated yet, now is the time."

The World Health Organization formally declared COVID-19 a pandemic March 11, 2020, with over 118,000 cases in over 114 countries. Now, there have been over 212 million confirmed cases worldwide, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

According to Our World in Data, 51.08% of Americans have received both doses of a COVID vaccine and are fully vaccinated, while 9.25% have received at least one dose.

Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination location near you.

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