The US Food and Drug Administration has finally approved the first COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer Biotech, now marketed to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age or older.
The vaccine is also still available, under an emergency use license, for individuals 12 to 15 years of age and for the third dose for certain immunocompromised individuals.
The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone, as the world continues to battle a pandemic as the most infectious mutant emerges.
“The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets high standards for safety, efficacy, and manufacturing quality,” said Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “While millions of people have already received Covid vaccines safely, we recognize that for some, the approval of The Food and Drug Administration on a vaccine may now instill additional confidence in obtaining the vaccination. Today we are one step closer to changing the course of this epidemic.”
This comes at a time when several hospitals in the American South and Midwest have announced that they are treating more children with corona than ever before, and are preparing to increase the numbers and for the worst in the future, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The number of infections among children has risen over the past six weeks, with the highly contagious delta mutant spread mainly among unvaccinated people, and public health experts say this leads to more childhood infections in places where the delta mutant is common.
Children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, and vaccination rates for those aged 12-17 are still relatively low, according to data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Children’s hospitals are preparing for more cases as schools reopen in the United States, and hospitals are hiring more doctors and nurses and making contingency plans to expand bed capacity, according to the newspaper.