The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday morning that it has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 years and older, according to a press release from the administration.
The vaccine has been available under an emergency use authorization since December, 2020, and is still available for children between the ages of 12 and 15 through an emergency use authorization, according to the release.
“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,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in the release.
“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.”
Ashtabula County Health Department Health Commissioner Jay Becker said he hoped the approval would cause some parents to get their children vaccinated.
“I have heard ... that the reason why people did not want to get vaccinated was because it was not FDA approved,” he said.
Becker said he hopes people will start flocking to get vaccinations, but he is not expecting it.
Becker said the county’s vaccination rate is ticking up as students heading back to school get the shot.
“We have clinics set up with every school system,” he said. “Our nurses are out every day.”
Becker said those who want the vaccine have gotten it.
“We were busy, hundreds of people were coming to our clinics, and then just like that, it dropped off,” Becker said.
Conneaut Health Commissioner Nichele Blood said she thinks the FDA approval will probably lead some people to get vaccinated. Vaccination numbers in the city have been slow, she said.
Hopefully more people would like to be vaccinated in Conneaut, given that fall is approaching, Blood said.