On Friday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that all who are eligible will need booster shots to be considered fully “up to date.”
The CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, announced at a White House press conference that the health organization is “pivoting the language” to match the standard protocol of other vaccines.
“What we really are working to do is pivot the language to make sure that everybody is as up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as they personally could be, should be, based on when they got their last vaccine,” Walensky said at the press conference.
“We really want to make sure people are up to date. That means if you recently got your second dose, you’re not eligible for a booster; you’re up to date. If you are eligible for a booster and you haven’t gotten it, you’re not up to date, and you need to get your booster in order to be up to date.”
Walensky compared the COVID-19 vaccine to the flu shot as she spoke Friday. Patients aren’t considered “up to date” unless they have received an annual vaccine injection. Those who do not receive the annual flu shot are not considered to be “up to date.”
“In public health, for all vaccines, we’ve talked about being up to date for your vaccines. Every year, you need a flu shot; you’re not up to date with your flu shot until you’ve gotten your flu shot for that year,” Walensky said.
Nationwide the flu shot is a voluntary choice. But, according to mandates issued by the government, COVID vaccinations are required in much of the US in order to participate in basic daily activities.
When it comes to the definition of “fully vaccinated,” Walensky said that it isn’t changing. If a person has received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a person is considered fully vaccinated.
“Individuals are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve received their primary series. That definition is not changing,” Walensky concluded on Friday.