How Covid and Vaccines are Changing

After a long year and a half of quarantining, masks, and COVID tests, the future is finally looking a little brighter. On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty, in hopes to encourage more people to go out and get vaccinated. Although the vaccines have been available to the public since early winter, younger age groups still have yet to gain approval for them and millions of Americans still refuse to get a vaccine at all.

Even though the other vaccines have also met scientific standards, Pfizer is the first fully FDA-approved vaccine. As mentioned previously, millions of Americans still struggle with the idea of putting vaccines in their body. Therefore, the FDA is more confident now that hesitant unvaccinated individuals will trust that the vaccine is safe and the best option for preventing the disease.

With many skeptical Americans still unwilling to get the shot, it is very possible that nothing will really convince them. Even thousands of job employers have imposed vaccination requirements in order for their employees to work and to encourage more Americans to get the vaccine. 

Even though Pfizer is fully approved, Moderna announced this past week that it had finished its’ submission for full approval of their vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. If approved, Moderna would be the second vaccine fully authorized for people 18 or older.

In addition to the already existing vaccines, those who are vaccinated can get booster shots from Pfizer and BioNTech starting in late September. These booster doses are recommended eight months after one receives their second vaccine shot, and are still pending sign-off from both the FDA and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once administered, the fully vaccinated individual would then generate even higher levels of antibodies, making it less likely to get very sick from COVID.  

In terms of masks and mandates, the future still remains unclear. While several states across the U.S. have mandated indoor mask-wearing again, even regardless of vaccination status, many have not. Despite this, almost every school system across the country is requiring masks for all students and staff in order to prevent an outbreak.

Will the new approval of the vaccines and booster shots move us closer to a more “normal” world or will we continue to live in one with masks and quarantining? This fate is truly in the hands of the American people.