TYLER, Texas (KETK)- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
FDA officials decided that the vaccine is safe and effective, and it was approved for those that are 16 and older. The vaccine will also be marketed under the name Comirnaty.
The approval from the FDA comes as the Delta variant is causing hospitalizations to rise in the country and in Texas, where 13,163 people are being treated for the virus in hospitals.
In East Texas, Trauma Service Area G has seen a growth in hospitalizations from 20.75% to 23.36% over the last seven days.
Trauma Service Area H, which includes Deep East Texas, has seen a spike in hospitalizations from 24.9% to 30.71% during the last week.
More than half the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the CDC. Still, a number of people have not gotten their shots because some are hesitant.
The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the vaccine after they reviewed data from a clinical trial.
The clinical trial
18,000 people received the vaccine and 18,000 received a placebo, which is a treatment that does not have the drug.
The vaccine was 95% effective in preventing the virus for those that participated in the trial. Only eight people became sick with COVID-19 from the vaccine group and 162 in the placebo group.
To be fully vaccinated, people have to get two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The second shot is given three weeks after your first dose.
All of the COVID-19 shots protect people from dying or becoming seriously ill from the virus even with the new Delta variant.
The Pfizer vaccine does have some side effects such as pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. Some people might also experience fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever.
There is also a risk for people to possibly have issues with myocarditis or pericarditis following vaccination, which is inflammation of the heart. There have been more than 1,000 cases reported.
“These reports are rare, given the hundreds of millions of vaccine doses administered,” said the CDC.
The state of Texas is currently receiving doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.