Reuters News Agency is reporting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is aiming to give full approval for the Pfizer (PFE.N) COVID vaccine by early September, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing people involved in the effort. The FDA gave emergency use authorization to the Pfizer vaccine late last year. Full approval by the FDA could push more Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine as it might reduce their fears about the safety of the shot.
The agency’s unofficial deadline for the approval is the Sept. 6 Labor Day holiday, the Times said.
President Joe Biden said last week he expected the FDA to make the decision by early fall.
The FDA said in a statement on Friday that the agency is moving as rapidly as possible on the Pfizer application.
The spread of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant has fueled a new surge in infections, with the CDC reporting rising numbers of cases in nearly 90% of U.S. jurisdictions. READ: What Are The Most Common Side Effects Of Pfizer Vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described Delta as more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause smallpox, MERS, SARS, and Ebola—and called it as contagious as chickenpox in an internal document, a copy of which was obtained by and reported on in The New York Times. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths have been among the unvaccinated, the CDC says. But the CDC released data that showed vaccinated people also can transmit Delta, which officials did not believe to be the case with other variants, and which led the agency to make a prompt revision to its masking guidelines.
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