COVID-19 · U.S.

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech two-dose coronavirus vaccine became the first inoculation to win full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday, the agency announced.

The approval comes as key elements of the U.S. economy and civil society began ramping up requirements for vaccinations, bordering on full-scale mandate.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that health officials have administered 204 million shots of the Pfizer vaccine since it was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.

Monday’s approval undoubtedly sets up the likelihood for government, educational, and private sector authorities to institute true vaccine mandates with minimal exemptions moving forward.

Though private sector businesses had the legal authority to require shots in their workforce, full FDA approval is likely to strengthen their position in the event of workers contest the legal basis for mandates.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that the psychological effect of full FDA approval may help cut down on the share of unvaccinated Americans, with three out of 10 unvaccinated respondents reporting they were more likely to get vaccinated if a vaccine received full approval.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.