In a major development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday.
The full approval has public health leaders, including Bay Area infectious disease specialists, hoping it will convince more people to roll up their sleeves and finally get their first COVID-19 vaccine shots.
"At the individual level we know from recent Kaiser studies that one third of the unvaccinated would be willing to be vaccinated if the FDA approved it fully," said UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.
Public health experts said the FDA's decision has even more wide-reaching implications as California struggles with a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the more infectious delta variant.
"The full approval will lead to more mandates, government employees and schools and that will have a much bigger effect of getting people vaccinated across the country," said Michael Stanton, Assistant Professor of Public Health at California State University East Bay.
Even though the Pfizer vaccine has full FDA approval, the agency is still requiring the company to study the vaccine and look at a possible increased risk of heart inflammation following the second dose.