FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine


Editor and Writer, Will Lanciloti, holding up his vaccination card along with his mom.

It is evident that these past two years have not gone as one would have imagined. The COVID-19 outbreak caused the shutdown of schools, restaurants, and possibly every social event at one point in time – not to mention, the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the US. This left every member of society disappointed and terrified that normalcy would never return. However, hope has emerged as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, better known as the Pfizer vaccine, has been approved by the FDA for everyone 16 years and older.


What is the FDA?

The FDA stands for the Food and Drug Administration. It is a part of the Human Health and Services department within the US government, so they are a qualified team and a valid source to use when one is skeptical of a vaccine or drug. The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of the public by approving vaccines, drugs, and other products related to health. If they approve a product it means that “the known and potential benefits of [the] product, when used to prevent, diagnose, or treat the disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”   


What vaccines are available?

In this time of stress, doctors around the world frantically researched to produce a vaccine that was not only effective in combating the spread of COVID-19, but was also harmless to the public. As a result, three different versions of the COVID-19 vaccine were formed: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Hackensack Meridian Health, a network of healthcare providers, explains that the Pfizer vaccine is simply made up of mRNA, lipids, salts, and sugars. This specific information may change one’s views on the vaccine, as it informs them of what will be going into their body when receiving it. 


What is the booster shot?

The booster shot is a third dose available in Pfizer and Moderna. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine the booster shot is “given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time.” The FDA and the CDC have recommended those over the age of 65 and those with particular health conditions receive the booster shot. They may get the shot as soon as 6 months after their second dose of their original shot. However, the booster shot has not yet been FDA or CDC approved for those outside of the previously stated categories. 


How does this affect public high schools?

The approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the FDA has created a larger incentive for the public to get vaccinated, as its safety has been verified. Schools are currently still requiring masks to be worn and social distancing to take place. However, according to The New York Times, as a result of increasing amounts of the population getting vaccinated, “more than half of U.S. states have seen a significant decline in new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks.” This could possibly result in mask mandates decreasing, and bringing schools one step closer to normalcy.