The FDA Approval Of the Pfizer Vaccine May Create More Confidence In Its Efficacy, But It Could Lead To Mistrust In Vaccines From Other Laboratories.
Approval means that the vaccine can be used indefinitely, unless a side effect is discovered that calls into question the efficacy of the vaccine. Photo: Unsplash
LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero
Listen to this article
On Monday, August 23, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its full approval of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19, the first of its kind to be approved. Likewise, the biotechnology laboratory also announced that the vaccine will be marketed under the name Comirnaty. So far, this and other vaccines had been approved for emergency use in order to vaccinate as many people as possible and thus mitigate the pandemic that has been going on for more than 18 months.
The full approval of Comirnaty means that the vaccine can be used by people over 16 years of age, but the administration to people between 12 and 15 years and the third dose to immunosuppressed people can continue to be carried out thanks to the emergency approval that was given in December 2020. On the other hand, the approval implies that the vaccine can be used indefinitely unless a side effect is discovered that questions its effectiveness.
What positive implications does approval have?
Comirnaty proves its effectiveness by having passed rigorous FDA tests and creates confidence in the more than 92 million people who have already been vaccinated with this brand in the United States. Currently, there are 170 million vaccines administered in the country, and more than half of these are Pfizer's.
In addition, the FDA, the laboratory, and government and health agencies hope that people can see this as a reason to have more confidence in vaccines and access them more easily, which would help greatly to mitigate the pandemic. The confidence that citizens have in vaccines is extremely important because with more people vaccinated, there are many more possibilities to save lives and control a pandemic that is just a few months from its second birthday and has put the world economy in check.
Also read: Opinion: Opinion: Two Different Ways of Tackling a Pandemic, the case of HIV and COVID-19
On the other hand, this puts pressure on other laboratories to comply and pass the rigorous tests of the regulatory body so that they can compete because the public has more confidence in the brand that is fully approved by the FDA. But this is not only good news in the United States, since it is clear that the world population pays attention to what happens in that country.
What are the negative implications?
The speed with which the scientific community and pharmaceutical laboratories have acted has put the efficacy of vaccines into question on the part of the community. Although the majority of the population has sought to be vaccinated, many people are skeptical of certain brands because of their efficacy figures, so the approval of this vaccine by the FDA may put into question the effectiveness of other brands. In fact, Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Moderna are the ones that have been mostly accepted by the public, while some people avoid attending vaccine centers where other brands are administered.
We should also take into account the anti-vaccine movement, which of course, despite more regulations and approvals, will remain distrustful of vaccines and will continue to argue against them. Pedagogy about the importance of vaccines is still very necessary and something that regulators of this type must work on to face the pandemic.