The Food and Drug Administration on Monday gave full approval to the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech, which until now had been used under emergency authorization. The vaccine has also been given a new name: Comirnaty.
The first Covid-19 vaccine to receive full approval, Comirnaty can be given to everyone aged 16 and older. The green light from the FDA opens the door to wider use of vaccine mandates at a variety of private and public institutions, and could help reduce resistance to the shots among those who have expressed concerns about the hurried conditions under which they were first approved for use.
“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement. “While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product.”
White House pushes mandates: Following the announcement of the approval, President Joe Biden called on leaders in business and government to implement vaccine mandates.
“I'm calling on more companies in the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people,” Biden said. “If you're a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that — require it.”
The Department of Defense announced Monday that it would require the vaccine for all active members of the military. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the administration expects to see more departments within the federal government start rolling out mandates. “I think you’re looking more at agency-to-agency or different factions of the government at this point. But I expect there will be more on that front,” she told reporters.
Some university systems will also start enforcing mandates. All students at the State University of New York and City University of New York schools will now have 45 days to get vaccinated, and the University of Minnesota System and Louisiana State University have announced they will also start enforcing a mandate as well.