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Pfizer Vaccine is Fully Approved: What That Means for Seniors

There’s great news for anyone waiting for full FDA approval before getting a COVID-19 vaccine!

Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has now been fully approved by the FDA for people 16 and older - making it the first of three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. to be upgraded from emergency use authorization to full approval! But what does that mean for you? Below we address some commonly asked questions.

What’s Comirnaty?

In addition to approval, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine gets a brand new name. Now, the shot will be marketed as Comirnaty, according to the FDA.

What’s next?

For those who have been waiting for the full approval of a vaccine, your day has come! Today is the day to make your appointment, get your first shot of the Pfizer vaccine, and work toward becoming fully vaccinated. With the Delta variant sweeping through the nation, timing could not be better for those experiencing vaccine hesitancy to receive peace of mind with the FDA's approval and move forward with receiving the vaccine.

You may also notice a new wave of vaccine mandates from corporate America, with major companies already requiring some or all of their employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID this fall.

Can I get the booster shot now?

White House officials now recommend a booster COVID-19 shot, meaning a third dose of the vaccine, for all adult Americans to maximize protection against the virus, although the third dose as a booster is currently being reviewed by the FDA for children between 12 and 17 years old.

The recommendation was based on two main pieces of evidence: vaccine protection against COVID-19 decreases over time, and vaccine effectiveness generally decreases when put up against the highly contagious delta variant, which is driving infections across the U.S.

However, the FDA’s approval of Pfizer does not mean you can rush to your local pharmacy and get a third dose! The booster plan is still pending authorization from a special committee within the FDA.

People could get booster shots beginning the week of Sept. 20, at least eight months after receipt of their second dose, and will follow the same procedure as the initial vaccination program. This means people who were fully vaccinated earliest in the program will be eligible for a booster first, including our most vulnerable populations like our health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors. However, with Pfizer’s full approval, talk with your doctor if you’re unsure whether you are considered high risk and might benefit from a third shot – as health care providers can now write a prescription for a booster shot if they believe you’re eligible.

Only those who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines will be eligible for booster shots, as more testing is needed for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

More information:

Click here if you need more information about the Pfizer vaccine safety and its effectiveness.

If you have specific health-related questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider. You can also visit this CDC page, which explains what to expect when you get your COVID-19 vaccine.

If you would like to read the FDA’s press release in full, click here

Griswold Home Care recommends everyone to talk with their health provider about the benefits of the vaccine and encourages those who are able, to receive the vaccine. We support the science behind the Comirnaty vaccine and believe that the more people who get vaccinated, the quicker the virus will be eradicated.

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