Pfizer Vaccine Gets Full FDA Approval

Michael Foust | Contributor | Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Pfizer Vaccine Gets Full FDA Approval

Pfizer Vaccine Gets Full FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, removing the "emergency use authorization" label and expressing hope that the move will lead to more Americans receiving the vaccine.

Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said during a phone call with media members that staff worked "around the clock" to complete the evaluation and examined "hundreds of thousands" of pages of data.

More than 200 million Americans have received a COVID-19 vaccine, a number that translates to 73 percent of the adult population.

The Pfizer vaccine will be marketed as "Comirnaty."

"While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, 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."

FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine comes as the COVID Delta variant rages much of the country and as the virus spreads among the unvaccinated. In Mississippi, for example, 89 percent of current COVID hospitalizations and 86 percent of COVID deaths are among those not fully vaccinated.

Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, urged Americans to reject misinformation about the vaccine.

"We've heard false claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility, contain microchips and cause COVID-19," Marks said. "And worse, we've heard false claims that thousands of people have died from the vaccine. Let me be clear: These claims are simply not true. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can save your life."

Marks added, "We hope those who have waited until now … will go and get vaccinated."

Evangelist Franklin Graham called the FDA's approval of the Pfizer vaccine "good news."

"Some people have expressed concern about only having emergency-use approval, so I hope this will relieve those concerns," Graham wrote on Facebook. "I'm thankful for the doctors and scientists who have worked diligently to develop a vaccine that can help save lives as we have seen so many vaccines do throughout history.

"We are all praying for an end to this pandemic, but as for right now, the coronavirus is still with us – very real, very contagious, and it can be very deadly," Graham added. "I've seen what COVID-19 can do to the body, and I want as many people as possible to avoid that."

Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health and a professing Christian, called it "marvelous news."

"We know these vaccines are safe and effective," Collins tweeted. "If you're still on the fence, look at the data & then roll up your sleeve."


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Photo courtesy: Hakan Nural/Unsplash

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.