The Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23 granted full approval for the first vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19.
The vaccine, previously referred to as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, will be marketed as Comirnaty, “for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older,” according to an FDA news release. The FDA also said the vaccine will continue to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals aged 12-15 and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
“While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., acting FDA commissioner.
The ADA continues to encourage dental professionals to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases but is not calling for mandated vaccination.
In a July 28 email to member dentists, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., said ADA policy recommends vaccination in accord with current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the CDC doesn’t mandate COVID-19 vaccination for health care professionals at this point in time.
For more information on current CDC guidelines about specific immunizations recommended for health care workers, including those in dental practices, visit ADA.org and follow rules and regulations applicable to their location or employment situation.
As of June 2021, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute, 93.4% of dentists surveyed reported having received at least one vaccine dose, and 89.8% reported they were fully vaccinated. As of late July, 72.7% of surveyed dental hygienists were fully vaccinated, and 78.2% had received at least one dose.