The Food and Drug Administration is expected to grant full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine early next week, sources told Axios on Friday.
Why it matters: It would be the first COVID-19 shot to receive full authorization from the federal government.
- A full approval could help boost vaccination efforts, as many Americans have been hesitant to get inoculated with shots that were only authorized for emergency use.
- Politico first reported the story.
The big picture: The U.S. is currently battling a resurgence of the virus, driven by the more contagious Delta variant. The Biden administration said earlier this week that fully vaccinated Americans should expect to be offered a booster shot eight months after getting their second shot starting in September.
- "Approving the vaccine and encouraging boosters at the same time may suggest to some that the vaccine as licensed is inadequate without an extra shot," the New York Times writes.
By the numbers: 51.2% of the entire American population has been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The United States has reported more than 37 million confirmed virus cases and over 624,000 deaths, per the CDC.