Pfizer seeks full FDA approval for Covid vaccine

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<p>Pfizer seeks full approval for its Covid-19 vaccine from the FDA</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Pfizer seeks full approval for its Covid-19 vaccine from the FDA

(AFP via Getty Images)

Pfizer/BioNTech has applied for full approval for its Covid-19 vaccine in people ages 16 years and older from the Food and Drug Administration, the companies announced Friday.

In December, the vaccine received emergency use authorisation from the FDA to be used in those 16 years and older. But now Pfizer/BioNTech becomes the first to apply for full approval of its vaccine.

More than 170 million doses of the mRNA two-shot vaccine have been administered in the United States to date, the companies said, with the goal to deliver 300 million doses by the end of July.

“We are proud of the tremendous progress we’ve made since December in delivering vaccines to millions of Americans, in collaboration with the US Government,” Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the FDA to complete this rolling submission and support their review, with the goal of securing full regulatory approval of the vaccine in the coming months.”

Pfizer will now have to demonstrate that it can reliably produce its Covid-19 vaccine in order to receive full approval. This would include providing the FDA with data on the manufacturing processes and facilities, as well as information from its preclinical and clinical trials.

If approved, the companies could then market their shots directly to consumers and possibly alter the pricing of the doses. Currently the vaccine is available for free to Americans through the federal government.

The approval would also allow the vaccine to remain on the market after the pandemic because it would no longer have “emergency” authorisation.

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