The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech for its Covid-19 messenger RNA vaccine.
Health officials hope the full FDA approval will ease vaccine hesitancy in the Black community. The vaccination rate in the Black community is the lowest among ethnic groups in America.
READ ALSO: Pfizer CEO Blames Russia For Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black People
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla blamed the Russians for the low vaccination rates among Black Americans and other minorities.
Pfizer can now market its vaccine directly to Black consumers under the brand name Comirnaty. It isn't clear if Pfizer will begin charging consumers for booster shots.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved a third booster shot for immunocompromised people, such as cancer patients, transplant patients, and people who autoimmune disorders.
The FDA approval may lead to more vaccine mandates in blue states where businesses are urged to ban the unvaccinated.
"The FDA's approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic," acting FDA commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock said in a statement on Monday.
"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. Today's milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S."
Prior to Monday, Pfizer's vaccine was only available on an emergency basis. Pfizer said the shot is still available to 12-15-year-olds on an emergency authorization basis.
Question: Do you plan to take the shot now that it's fully approved?