Pfizer, BioNTech file for full U.S. approval of vaccine

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, said Friday they have filed for full U.S. approval of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Approval by the Food and Drug Administration would make it the first approved COVID-19 shot. That vaccine is currently authorized only for emergency use.

FDA approval would help boost confidence in the vaccine at a time when some people distrustful of vaccines are hesitant about getting one. It would also allow the companies to market the vaccine directly to consumers and make it easier for corporations and government agencies to require vaccinations.

Next week, the FDA is also expected to authorize emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.

Shares of BioNTech shot up 7% in early trading Friday; Pfizer rose 1%.

Moderna said Thursday it plans to apply for full approval for its vaccine this month.