Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Receives Full Approval from FDA; Healthcare Facility Vaccine Verification Compliance Begins Today

7 New Deaths and 2,331 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, Calif. Aug 23 – Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the license for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for those 12 through 15 years old and for a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. The licensing approval was announced after another thorough evaluation of safety and effectiveness data by a panel of scientific and medical experts. FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products.

Also today, acute care and long-term care facilities, high-risk congregate facilities, and other healthcare facilities must be in full compliance with the State’s Order that requires these facilities to verify the vaccine status of all workers. The State Order also requires compliance with respirator and masking mandates and screening testing. And, by September 30, healthcare workers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirms 7 new deaths and 2,331 new cases of COVID-19. The number of cases and deaths are likely to reflect reporting delays over the weekend. Of the 7 new deaths reported today, two people who passed away were over the age of 80, four people who passed were between the ages of 65 and 79, and one person who passed was between the ages of 50 and 64. To date, Public Health identified 1,385,505 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 25,078 deaths.

There are 1,722 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for nearly 7,940,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive. Today’s test positivity rate is 2.8%, a slight decrease from last week’s same-day rate of 3.4%

“To the families that are experiencing the profound grief of losing a loved one to COVID-19, we send you our deepest condolences,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and remains the most powerful tool we have to both lower our risk of infection and protect against serious illness and death from COVID-19 if infected. The other tools to help reduce and prevent transmission are wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing your hands frequently. We are grateful to the many scientists and researchers who have worked tirelessly to develop and evaluate the vaccines during the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetime. We are also grateful to the FDA for their thoughtful analyses and review processes to ensure that we can have the highest confidence that the vaccine is safe and effective. I hope the milestone of this vaccine’s full approval gives those that were waiting to get vaccinated the confidence to now take this important step.”

Public Health encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated – it is the most important step you can take to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our L.A. County community and to ultimately end this pandemic. If you still need to get vaccinated, Public Health can help. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Many vaccination sites across the county, including all the County-run sites, are also offering third doses of vaccine to eligible immunocompromised people.

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