CDC Director: Definition of ‘Fully Vaccinated’ Still Evolving

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
December 14, 2021 Updated: December 14, 2021

As federal health officials publicly mull over the definition of what constitutes “fully vaccinated,” the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday that her agency is still evaluating it.

Currently, one is considered fully vaccinated if they have received either one Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine dose, two Moderna vaccine doses, or two Pfizer doses. The CDC is the agency that will ultimately decide whether the definition of fully vaccinated will include a booster dose.

Some state agencies, federal agencies and military branches, and many businesses have mandated that workers and staff members be fully vaccinated by a certain date. Adding a booster shot to the equation may mean that millions of workers would have to receive the booster dose or potentially face termination or suspension from their jobs.

But CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told the “Today” show Tuesday that whether the definition of “fully vaccinated” should change from two shots to three shots is evolving. The agency has not made a determination either way.

“What we know about variants is that the more mutations you have, the more immune boost you need in order to combat them, so that’s exactly why we’re saying this variant has a lot of mutations, we want to make sure that we have as much immune protection as possible,” Walensky told the news show when she was asked about the definition changing.

The CDC head then suggested that people get the booster shot if they haven’t yet and are eligible to receive it.

Her comments follow a recent decision handed down by UK health officials, who said this week that those using COVID-19 vaccine passports will have to receive a booster dose.

Sajid Javid, the UK’s health secretary, told Parliament that because of the Omicron variant, “two jabs are not enough to prevent symptomatic infection.” Javid said that an analysis by the UK Health Security Agency suggests boosters are 70 percent effective against symptomatic infection from Omicron.

One person with the Omicron strain has died in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday. The UK death is the only Omicron-related fatality that has been reported anywhere in the world so far, coming weeks after the Omicron variant was named by the World Health Organization.

So far in the United States, at least two Democratic governors have said that being classified as fully vaccinated should also include a booster dose.

Meanwhile, health officials in South Africa, where the variant first emerged, have said that there are signs suggesting Omicron is milder than Delta, the variant that makes up most infections worldwide.

“They are able to manage the disease at home,” Dr. Unben Pillay, who is treating Omicron patients in South Africa, told The Associated Press about his patients’ condition. “Most have recovered within the 10 to 14-day isolation period.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.