A move to redefine the term fully vaccinated as three shots of Pfizer or Moderna is “on the table,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is open to changing the definition to include a booster shot for the two-dose vaccines, the White House’s chief medical advisor told CNBC.
“There’s no doubt that optimum vaccination is with a booster,” Fauci said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Whether or not the CDC is going to change that, it certainly is on the table and open for discussion.”
When it comes to the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Facui said a booster jab of either Pfizer or Moderna would also be necessary to be considered fully vaxxed.
He added that a timeline for the redefinition is not clear but that getting a booster shot is essential amid a wave of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“I’m not sure exactly when that will happen. 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.
Under the CDC’s current definition, a person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Maderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose of Johnson and Johnson.
Fauci’s comments came after a surge in the highly transmissible Omicron across the US this week, and after the CDC said booster shots are effective at protecting against the strain.