The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) voiced their support of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. UDOH said this marks “another important milestone in the battle against COVID-19.”
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The FDA fully approved the vaccine on Monday after approving it for emergency use on Dec. 11, 2020. The vaccine is fully approved for those 16 and older and still remains in emergency use for those between ages 12 and 15.
UDOH said full FDA approval is the final step in a “highly rigorous” process confirming the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. They said those who were unsure about whether to get the vaccine should have the confidence now to go get vaccinated.
“The FDA’s announcement should provide confidence to anyone who may have hesitated to get the vaccine while it was under emergency use.”
As part of the approval process, the FDA tested the effectiveness of the vaccine on 20,000 people and gave 20,000 others a placebo for the same study. A similar study was done to test the safety of the vaccine on 22,000 people with another 22,000 given a placebo.
UDOH said as of August 23, more than 200 million Americans have received the vaccine, including 1.8 million Utahns.
“We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated and help end the pandemic. We also strongly encourage health care providers who haven’t offered COVID-19 vaccines at their practice before now, to take the necessary steps to enroll as vaccine providers as soon as possible.”