Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that redefining what it means to be “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19 is “certainly is on the table and open for discussion” as the Biden Administration pushes vaccinated Americans to receive a booster shot.
Fauci told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that regulators have not ruled out redefining the number of doses needed to be considered fully vaccinated.
He added he is unsure when a change will be made.
Fauci and the Biden Administration have urged those who have already been fully vaccinated to get a booster dose.
Full vaccination status currently means two weeks after the second shot in a two-dose series, like Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, a single-dose vaccine, like the J&J vaccine, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
28.1% of those who are fully vaccinated, or 57.1 million people in the U.S., have been administered a booster dose as of Friday, according to the CDC.
“But I think people should not lose sight of the message that there’s no doubt if you want to be optimally protected, you should get your booster,” Fauci said.
As the omicron variant continues to spread, there is much uncertainty around how the heavily mutated variant affects vaccine effectiveness. Fauci said Wednesday that there is no need for an omicron-specific vaccine as existing boosters appear to provide enough protection against the variant. But he urged those who are eligible to get a booster shot, saying it delivers significantly higher protection against omicron.