FDA Approves Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines


Associated Press

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use by the FDA.

Elena Bryden, Contributing Writer

Researchers have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine. The results of their efforts are now being seen in the Pfizer and BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine, as well as the Moderna vaccine, that were granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. Several other vaccines are currently being tested in clinical trials and are waiting for approval from the FDA.

Under normal circumstances, the complex process of vaccine development can take up to 10 to 15 years; however a Covid-19 vaccine was developed much more quickly because of the urgent need for a way to prevent the deadly virus. Similarities in the RNA sequences of Covid-19 and the SARS and MERS viruses also allowed researchers to develop a vaccine relatively quickly. 

On December 14th, the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was first distributed. However, the vaccine is being administered by prioritization of who needs it most because there is a limited supply. The CDC recommends that vaccine first be administered to healthcare workers and residents of long term health care facilities. After that, the vaccine will most likely become widely available. 

Although the vaccine has been proven to have 95% efficacy, many still have doubts about how effective the vaccine will be, and if the vaccine will have negative side effects. Sophomore Sherry Sze expresses her concerns saying, “I think knowing the vaccine at least works is reassuring to me. However, I’ve also heard that people with allergies can’t use it so I’m worried and wary of it because it’s so new and might have hidden and unknown issues.” 

The CDC has assured those with doubts that although experiencing side effects is possible, the positive aspects of the vaccine far outweigh any potential negative aspects. 

Like many, sophomore Grace Desai has an optimistic outlook on the development of the vaccine noting, “I think the Covid vaccine seems to be the most promising push to bring an end to the prolonged pandemic, as no amount of regulations and mandates have been able to decrease Covid-19’s rapid spread throughout the United States. I’m excited for the vaccine because I hope it will mark the gradual return of life as it used to be and save thousands of preventable deaths.” 

Although there is no clear timeline for returning to normal life, the development of the coronavirus vaccine has given many people hope.