President Joe Biden is speaking after the Food and Drug Administration announced it has granted full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech for their vaccine to be given to Americans as young as 16, the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full FDA approval. Health officials hope the new status will encourage more unvaccinated people to get the jab.
Thecould also set into motion a new wave of vaccine requirements among employers and universities as cases and deaths rise to the highest levels in months. It also comes as Mr. Biden faces arguably most difficult crisis of his presidency yet, as U.S. troops race against the clock to who helped the U.S. out of Afghanistan.
The FDA had initially authorized the Pfizer vaccine on an emergency use basis. The vaccine has yet to be approved for emergency use in children younger than 12.
Watch the briefing replay in the player below or click here.
The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are still under an emergency use authorization designation.
“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. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S,” said acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.