Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from the US Food and Drug Administration, according to the New York Times. In December, the FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization for the companies' vaccine, which enabled it to be rolled out across the US.
With a full approval, Pfizer and BioNTech would be able to directly market their vaccine to consumers, and having approval could make it easier for companies, schools, and government agencies to require vaccinations, the Times adds.
CNBC notes that it typically takes the FDA at least a year to determine whether a drug is safe and effective for general use, but adds that Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking approval through a rolling submission process that may be faster as the agency can review data as it receives it.
"We are proud of the tremendous progress we've made since December in delivering vaccines to millions of Americans in collaboration with the US government," Albert Bourla, the CEO and chair of Pfizer, says in a statement. "We look forward to working with the FDA to complete this rolling submission and support their review, with the goal of securing full regulatory approval of the vaccine in the coming months."
The Times adds that FDA is expected to issue an EUA allowing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be given to 12- to 15-year-olds.
Moderna, CNBC says, is also expected to seek full approval for its vaccine later this month.