Town Square

Will FDA Approval Of The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine Be A Gamer Changer?

Medical experts field listeners’ questions about today’s FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as well as back-to-school COVID safety.


FILE – In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

News broke this morning that a lot of people have been waiting for.

The Food and Drug Administration has formally approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Today's FDA approval replaces the emergency use authorization given last December.

What does FDA approval actually mean, and what do we need to understand about the process that got us here?

What are the consequences of FDA approval? Will it make the vaccine easier to mandate or distribute, and could it increase vaccination rates?

Today, medical experts are here to explain, and we’ll also cover back-to-school and COVID.


Dr. Michael Chang

  • Pediatric infectious diseases specialist at UTHealth and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital

Dr. James McDeavitt

During the show, Dr. Chang referred to these websites in response to a listener question. Both are programs run by the Department of Health and Human Services and have publicly available data:

National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program:

Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program

Comparison between the two programs

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day’s most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today's show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.


This article is part of the podcast Town Square with Ernie Manouse

  • Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
  • Subscribe on Google Podcasts
  • Subscribe on Spotify
  • Subscribe on TuneIn
  • Subscribe on iHeart
  • Subscribe on Pandora
  • Subscribe on RadioPublic
  • Subscribe on Pocket Casts
  • Subscribe on Overcast
  • Subscribe on Amazon Music
  • Subscribe via RSS
Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

More Information