The Food and Drug Administration Monday approved the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older, the first vaccine to move from emergency use status.
The decision will inevitably catalyze requirements by hospitals, colleges, corporations and other organizations, the New York Times reports.
“While millions of people have already safely received Covid-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the F.D.A. approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” acting FDA commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”
The approval comes as the Delta variant continues to run rampant across the country. Indeed, the Biden administration hopes the approval will ease worries and motivate unvaccinated people to get the shot.
“If you’re not vaccinated, now is the time,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
The Pfizer vaccine will continue to be authorized for emergency use for children from the ages of 12 to 15 while the company collects necessary data required for full approval.
“The public and medical community can be confident that although we approved this vaccine expeditiously, it was fully in keeping with our existing high standards for vaccines in the U.S.,” Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s top vaccine regulator, said.