Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in Persons Aged ≥16 Years: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, September 2021 Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2) is a lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside mRNA vaccine encoding the prefusion spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine consists of 2 intramuscular doses (30 μg, 0.3 mL each) administered 3 weeks apart. In December 2020, the vaccine was granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as an interim recommendation for use among persons aged ≥16 years by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) (1). In May 2021, the EUA and interim ACIP recommendations for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were extended to adolescents aged 12-15 years (2). During December 14, 2020-September 1, 2021, approximately 211 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the United States.* On August 23, 2021, FDA approved a Biologics License Application for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty (Pfizer, Inc.), in persons aged ≥16 years (3). The ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group's conclusions regarding the evidence for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were presented to ACIP at a public meeting on August 30, 2021. To guide its deliberations regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, ACIP used the Evidence to Recommendation (EtR) Framework,† and incorporated a Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.§ In addition to initial clinical trial data, ACIP considered new information gathered in the 8 months since issuance of the interim recommendation for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, including additional follow-up time in the clinical trial, real-world vaccine effectiveness studies, and postauthorization vaccine safety monitoring. The additional information increased certainty that benefits from prevention of asymptomatic infection, COVID-19, and associated hospitalization and death outweighs vaccine-associated risks. On August 30, 2021, ACIP issued a recommendation¶ for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in persons aged ≥16 years for the prevention of COVID-19.


  • Dooling, Kathleen
  • Gargano, Julia W
  • Moulia, Danielle
  • Wallace, Megan
  • Rosenblum, Hannah G
  • Blain, Amy E
  • Hadler, Stephen C
  • Plumb, Ian D
  • Moline, Heidi
  • Gerstein, Jack
  • Collins, Jennifer P
  • Godfrey, Monica
  • Campos-Outcalt, Doug
  • Morgan, Rebecca
  • Brooks, Oliver
  • Talbot, H Keipp
  • Lee, Grace M
  • Daley, Matthew F
  • Oliver, Sara E

publication date

  • September 24, 2021