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Fauci Walks Back Claim Booster Shot Is Needed To Be Fully Vaccinated

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, walked back a claim he made earlier this week that a booster shot is needed to be considered fully vaccinated in a Sunday interview on This Week — though that could change, he said. 

Key Facts

Fauci said “fully vaccinated right now, by definition, is the original two doses… of the Pfizer and Moderna and a single dose of J and J.” 

However earlier this week, in a pre-taped video for the STAT News summit, the White House chief medical adviser said he “believes” that “a third shot boost for an mRNA [vaccine]

… should be part of the actual standard regimen” and not “an add-on.”  

Fauci did not rule out the possibility that booster shots could become necessary to be fully vaccinated, saying his team will “continue to follow the data” and monitor how immunity to Covid-19 increases, and how long that increased immunity lasts after the extra dose. 

Big Number

17.6%. That’s how many Americans have received a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. That’s expected to rise after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna to all adults on Friday. It’s advised that anyone get the booster shot at least six months after they became fully vaccinated.

Surprising Fact

The governors of Connecticut and New Mexico said this week that they consider the definition of fully vaccinated to include the booster shot.

Key Background

The FDA authorized Pfizer’s booster shot in September. Last month, the CDC ruled that it was safe to mix and match booster shots, meaning that recipients can get a shot from a different drug maker than the one they got for their first doses from. The extra dose was first available for high-risk Americans, including elderly people, those who work in healthcare facilities and people who are immunocompromised. Before the FDA opened up eligibility for the booster to all U.S. adults, some states had already offered the shot to their residents 18 years old or older. 

Further Reading

FDA Authorizes Covid Booster Shots For All U.S. Adults (Forbes)

CDC Advisors Recommend Letting All U.S. Adults Take A Covid Booster Shot (Forbes)