With the FDA approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services encouraged vaccinations for children ages 12 to 15, and an additional dose for people who are immunocompromised.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted its full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on August 23. The vaccine will now be marketed under the name Comirnaty for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in people 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer vaccine is also still available under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for people ages 12 to 15 and for an additional dose for people who are immunocompromised.

“Nearly 3 million Wisconsinites have received their safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, but we know that many folks across our state have been waiting to get their shot until the FDA provided full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Governor Evers. “The results are in. Now that they’ve issued full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, we can all be even more confident that these vaccines work and are safe. There has never been a better time to get vaccinated.”

The vaccine that received the FDA’s full approval is the same vaccine people have been getting for months. For full approval of new drugs or vaccines, the FDA requires extensive data on safety and effectiveness, inspection of manufacturing facilities, and a comprehensive review of all clinical and “real-world” use.

The full approval means that even more data were used to further confirm that the vaccine works and is safe. The COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death – even from the Delta variant.

The Pfizer vaccine was the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the United States back in December 2020. The EUA was expanded in May of 2021 to include people ages 12 to 15 and again in August for a third dose for people who are immunocompromised. The authorization came after the Pfizer product underwent rigorous clinical trials and an expedited review process to ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

FDA granted the application for full approval through a Priority Review designation, and reviewed updated data from the clinical trial which supported the EUA and included a longer duration of follow-up in a larger clinical trial population. As time passes and more data becomes available for the 12-15 year-old and immunocompromised populations, Pfizer will apply for full licensure for these uses as well.

“The FDA’s decision to issue full approval to the Pfizer vaccine reinforces what we have known since they issued the initial emergency use authorization – the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “This is an important milestone. It builds on evidence from across the country that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for everyone ages 12 and up. It’s more important than ever that everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated get vaccinated so we can keep ourselves, our kids, our friends, family, and neighbors safe.”

People who are unvaccinated are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and everyone should continue following local public health guidance. Additionally, anyone who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine between August 20 and September 6 is eligible for a $100 U.S Bank Rewards card.

© Photo

Lee Matz

The Milwaukee Independent began reporting on what was then referred to as the mysterious “Wuhan Virus” in January 2020. Other local media did not picked-up on the story until many weeks later. Our early features focused on the economic impact, social issues, and health concerns long before other Milwaukee news organizations even mentioned the coronavirus. Over the following year, we have published hundreds of articles about the pandemic and how it has affected the lives of Milwaukee residents. This extensive body of work can be found on our COVID-19 Special Report page, a chronological index of links by month. Our editorial voice remains dedicated to informing the public about this health crisis for as long as it persists.
For medical resources, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. All editorial content published by Milwaukee Independent can be found at mkeind.com/COVID19. With a mission of transformative journalism, our staff is free from commercial bias and are not influenced by corporate interests, political affiliations, or a public preferences that rewards clicks with revenue. As an influential publication that provides Milwaukee with quality journalism, our award-winning photojournalism and features have helped to achieve a range of positive social impact that enriches our community. Please join our effort by entrusting us with your contribution. Your Support Matters - Donate Now