Fact Check: Pfizer vaccine fully approved

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — "Get your facts straight!" That’s an email we got in the newsroom after reporting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received full FDA approval. Some people claim that’s not true. News10NBC’s Nikki Rudd has a fact check.

Here’s a look at the email

"You know they did not approve the Pfizer vaccine, you better get facts straight. They only extended the emergency authorization on current vaccine and made a different variation. I hope you look into this and read what they truly approved!!!!"

The major update from the FDA came out Monday, August 23rd. That’s when News10NBC reported the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received full approval. It became the nation’s first vaccine to move beyond Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Here’s where the confusion may come in. The brand name, Comirnaty. Yeah, it’s kind of weird. It’s a mash-up of COVID immunization and the vaccine’s mRNA technology. It also sounds similar to community and immunity, but is it the same thing as the original Pfizer vaccine?

According to the FDA , Comirnaty and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine have the same formulation, and the titles can be used interchangeably. Comirnaty, the formal brand name, was actually announced late last year.

So back to the claim that Comirnaty is a different variation of the vaccine. That is false.

The FDA also says providers that still have Pfizer doses that were distributed under the EUA can give those shots to people as if the doses were the licensed vaccine.


Check out other Fact Checks here. If you have an idea for Fact Check, email Nikki Rudd at nrudd@whec.com.