An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday unanimously recommended the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech Se COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older, an important step after it gained full U.S. approval last week.
The Food and Drug Administration last week granted full approval to the vaccine that was previously available under the agency's emergency use authorization (EUA), which had allowed the shots to be rolled out rapidly to Americans.
Health officials hope the formal approval will spur more Americans to get vaccinated. With full FDA approval, some companies and states have begun mandating COVID-19 vaccination.
The benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, the CDC said in presentations made to the panel.
There have been no reported deaths among young U.S. adults who developed a rare heart inflammation known as myocarditis after getting the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, CDC said.
The risk of myocarditis was 18.5 per million doses given among people aged 18 to 24 after their second Pfizer dose and 20.2 per million for that age group among recipients of the second dose of Moderna's similar vaccine - a higher risk than in other age groups. The risk was also significantly higher among males than females, according to the CDC's data. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao and Bill Berkrot)
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