There American Food and Drug Administration, better known as the FDA, gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 prevention. AND the first vaccine against the infection definitively approved by the FDA: a turning point that could lead to compulsory vaccination in several countries.
Pfizer vaccine, what changes with full FDA approval
Through a press release released the same day, the FDA explained that the vaccine will be marketed under the Comirnaty brand: so far, Pfizer it had been authorized thanks to a special emergency go-ahead issued last December and specifically indicated for people aged 16 and over. Only in May the provisional authorization was also extended to young people up to 12 years of age and no changes are foreseen for now.
In fact, full approval concerns only the age group starting from 16 years: “IThe vaccine continues to be available with authorization for emergency use also for individuals aged 12 to 15 and for the administration of a third dose in some immunocompromised people“, Reads a note issued by the agency.
Dr Janet Woodcook, Acting Commissioner of the FDA, hopes full approval will encourage people to get vaccinated. In the United States, more than 170 million individuals have currently received both doses of vaccination – more than 92 million have been given the Pfizer vaccine.
But what actual changes might full approval entail? First, the difference between emergency authorization and approval would allow manufacturers to market and distribute their vaccines directly: moreover, it could convince some skeptics to get vaccinated.
Moreover, we must not forget the moves in this direction of large companies, such as United Airlines, Disney, Walmart, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, who had previously announced internal vaccination plans and could now make the vaccine mandatory given FDA approval.
A first move will come from Pentagon which, in early August, had anticipated plans to make the vaccine mandatory for all active-duty members of the U.S. military by mid-September or immediately after FDA approval.
And in Italy? The first comment comes from Andrea Crisanti who, interviewed by Sky TG24, stated that there are no more alibis or ambiguities regarding the safety of the Pfizer vaccine. The professor of microbiology at the University of Padua believes that the novelty can open the doors to legal provisions capable of introducing the vaccination obligation, which would be perfectly consistent from a legal point of view.
But it must in any case wait for the equivalent green light from the European EMA and the Italian Aifa: only after that the government could discuss the obligation to complete the vaccination campaign.