Vaccine Watch

The Federal Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19 today for adults.

Health leaders expect this will persuade people who have been hesitant to now get vaccinated.

“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,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 

The vaccine is fully approved for people 16 and older.

Pfizer continues to be available under emergency use authorization for people ages 12-15, and for a third dose for certain immunocompromised individuals.

The approved vaccine has the same formulation and is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart. 

Pfizer’s vaccine contains messenger RNA, which spurs the body to make a protein similar to the protein in the virus that causes COVID-19. Then the immune system can defend the body if exposed to the virus. The mRNA is only in the body for a short time. It does not become part of, or change, the body’s own genetic material.

The vaccine will now be called Comirnaty (koe-MIR-na-tee).

This is a developing story and will be updated with local medical providers' comments throughout the day.

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