The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer. It’s been fully approved for people aged 16 and older, and is still authorized for emergency use for kids ages 12-16.
“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 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,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “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.”
The vaccine will be marketed under the name “Comirnaty.” There’s a reason for that name, as explained by trade publication Fierce Pharma: “Comirnaty mashes up community, immunity, mRNA and COVID–;pretty much everything that could fit into the moniker for the world’s most high-profile product at the moment.”
“The name is coined from Covid-19 immunity, and then embeds the mRNA in the middle, which is the platform technology, and as a whole the name is meant to evoke the word community,” said Scott Piergrossi, Brand Institute president of operations and communications. Brand Institute is the place where drug names are thought up. The generic name of the drug is tozinameran. But what really matters if it will get people to take the damned thing.
The Pentagon had already announced it would mandate all members of the armed forces get the vaccine. That was reiterated Monday following the drug’s approval, and the deadline for getting the first shots could be moved up from the original mid-September date. Refusing to get the vaccine could result in a court martial.
Will all the people who’ve been using the excuse that the vaccine is “experimental” now line up? Don’t count on it. “It will provide an additional nudge but not make a huge difference,”; said Jesse Goodman, a former FDA chief scientist who is a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Georgetown University in an interview with The Washington Post. Not all public health experts are as pessimistic. “A full approval takes away that ‘Oh, it’s experimental”; kind of language. For some people, it might make a difference. They will feel more confident and comfortable,” University of Maryland School of Public Health professor Sandra C. Quinn told the Post. Dr. Quinn has studied public acceptance of vaccines.
What the authorization probably will lead to is more employers requiring the vaccine, and more vaccine requirements for colleges and universities, entertainment venues, and commercial spaces. New York City schools are going first.
Breaking: NYC Mayor to announce vaccine mandate for all school staff, without testing alternative. All education dept staff must provide proof of first dose by 9/27. In doing so, NYC joins strictest vaccine mandates for school staff in country.
–; Jessica Gould (@ByJessicaGould) August 23, 2021
Of course, all those people who have hit upon horse dewormer as the miracle cure for COVID-19 probably won’t be swayed. The neigh-sayers are getting all the encouragement they need from Fox News (where else), which responded to the approval complete predictably. “FDA just giving full approval to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, it’s the first vaccine to get that full approval and in record time too, that has critics asking if the process was rushed. Was it?”
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