Updated: Aug 24
The Food and Drug Administration has formally approved Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine, which has been administered through the emergency use authorization granted by the agency last December.
"While this and other vaccines have met the FDA's rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product," acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
FDA said the full approval of the could make it easier for employers, the military and universities to mandate vaccination. It may also give reassurance for those who are hesitant about the vaccine, developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.
“Since December, our island’s front liners have administered over 129,000 Pfizer shots in arms, and the move from emergency use authorization (EUA) to full approval gives those who have delayed their shots the added confidence to get the vaccine,” said Guam Gov. Leon Guerrero said in a statement.
The governor again defended her controversial policy requiring residents to show proof of vaccination to enter private businesses and public facilities.
“More than safeguarding the progress we’ve made to date, more vaccinations means greater protection for our fragile healthcare system and our limited resources, both at the Guam Memorial Hospital and the Guam Regional Medical City," the governor said.
“For those of us who are eligible for the vaccine, we must do everything we can to protect those unable to receive their shots. We protect our children and our vulnerable family members by surrounding them with vaccinated individuals,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio.
“With Pfizer paving the way, we look forward to the other Covid-19 vaccines receiving full authorization and more of our community receiving the protection the vaccine provides.”
The governor's office reiterated that the policy requiring proof of vaccination was effective Aug. 23 but will be officially enforced on Sept. 6.
The policy covers the following:
Concerts and similar events;
Eating and Drinking Establishments with in-person, indoor/outdoor dining, except those in K-12 school building facilities, but excludes mobile food service establishments, provided, no seating is provided and not part of an organized event;
Food courts at Shopping Centers or Malls;
Gymnasiums, fitness centers, and dance studios;
Organized contact sports for training and competition, except school-sanctioned events;
Theaters and museums; and
Other Covered Establishments determined by DPHSS
Individuals who do not provide proof of vaccination as required by public health memo may not use indoor or outdoor portions of such facilities, except to order, pick up, or pay for food or drink for take-out orders, provided a face mask is worn properly.