The Food and Drug Administration is expected next week to grant full approval of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE , according to people familiar with the planning, an action that could spur more vaccination requirements by employers and encourage more people who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
The two-dose shot was first cleared in December by the agency on an emergency use basis for people 16 years and older. The emergency designation allows for products to be distributed during public-health crises based on the best available evidence.
Opponents of mandatory vaccinations have cited the emergency approval as grounds for not requiring inoculations, so full approval is expected to lead more businesses and institutions to require mandatory vaccinations.
Public health officials and vaccine experts also hope full approval will sway some people who have been hesitant to get vaccinated. About 60% of eligible people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, according to federal figures.
Three in 10 unvaccinated adults said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if one of the vaccines currently authorized for emergency use were to receive full approval from the FDA, according to a June poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.