The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The approval applies to individuals ages 16 and older. The vaccine is still available for emergency use for those ages 12 through 15. The vaccine is not yet approved for those under 12 years old.
"We know parents are eager to be able to give their children the protection of this vaccine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics shares that feeling of urgency," said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD, in a statement. "The Delta variant has led to significant increases in the number of children and adults infected with the virus. While we wait for a vaccine to be authorized for younger children, it's important that everyone who is eligible now get the vaccine. That will help reduced the spread of the virus and protect those who are too young to be vaccinated."
The vaccine is now the most studied in history, according to ABC News. The rapid deployment of COVID-19 vaccines in the US happened less than a year after the first COVID-19 cases were detected in this country, and is widely considered to be a historic scientific achievement.