FDA Could Grant Full Approval to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine by Monday: Report

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A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer coronavirus vaccination in Los Angeles, Calif., January 7, 2021. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

The Food and Drug Administration is aiming to give full authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine by Monday, sources familiar with the matter told the New York Times on Friday.

All coronavirus vaccines currently offered in the U.S. — produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — currently have emergency authorization from the FDA. As of Friday, 62 percent of Americans, or about 205 million residents, have received one of the three vaccines with emergency authorization.

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The granting of full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may give impetus to various public and private entities looking for greater approval from regulators to institute vaccination mandates.

The FDA declined to comment to the Times on the granting of full approval.

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The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was the first authorized for emergency use in the U.S., in December 2020. Former President Trump said at the time that the vaccine constituted “one of the greatest scientific accomplishments in history.”

The FDA indicated earlier this month that it would speed up the process for full approval of the coronavirus vaccines.

“We recognize that for some, the FDA approval of Covid-19 vaccines may bring additional confidence and encourage them to get vaccinated,” FDA spokesperson Abby Capobianco said in a statement. “FDA staff will conduct a thorough review process, while balancing the incredible sense of urgency necessary, both of which are needed to ensure that any vaccine that is authorized or approved meets our rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and quality.”

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