'Fully Vaccinated' Definition May Change As Boosters Roll Out: CDC Director

By Bill Galluccio

October 22, 2021

Veterans Affairs Hospital Outside Of Chicago Continues Vaccinations Efforts
Photo: Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters that the agency may update the definition of "fully vaccinated." Currently, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

Now that the FDA and CDC have approved booster shots for all three vaccines, health officials will evaluate whether people need the extra dose to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"We have not yet changed the definition of 'fully vaccinated.' We will continue to look at this. We may need to update our definition of 'fully vaccinated' in the future," Walensky said.

Currently, the booster shots for Moderna and Pfizer are approved for anybody over the age of 65, those who are at risk of severe cases of COVID, and those who work in jobs where they can be exposed to the virus. Booster shots for Johnson & Johnson have been approved for anybody over the age of 18.

Walensky urged those who are eligible for the booster to get it as soon as possible.

"If you're eligible for a booster, go ahead and get your booster and we will continue to follow," she said.

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