Definition of what constitutes ‘fully vaccinated’ may change, CDC director Walensky says

The U.S. could change the definition of what it means to be fully vaccinated in the future with the increasing availability of COVID-19 boosters, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday. 

“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,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky told reporters. “If you’re eligible for a booster, go ahead and get your booster and we will continue to follow,” she said. Full vaccination status is given to those who have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson jab. 

Americans do not have to receive the same booster shot that they received for the first vaccine series, though, as regulators have determined that mixing-and-matching vaccine types is safe and effective. Walensky appeared on NBC’s TODAY on Friday morning to discuss the potential mixing and matching of the booster shots. The CDC chief said that regulators “do not indicate a preference” in which jab a person should receive for their booster.

As of Friday afternoon, the CDC reports that 12 million Americans have received a Covid vaccine booster dose. A vast majority, 10.2 million, of those shots have been of the Pfizer vaccine. Over 1.7 million Moderna boosters and 12,000 Johnson & Johnson boosters have been administered.

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