Are you still fully vaccinated? CDC director explains definition


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – When vaccines first came on the scene, the CDC said that you’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after your single dose of Johnson and Johnson. Now that booster shots against COVID are widely available, many wonder whether the definition of “fully vaccinated” will change.

U.S. health officials say they won’t redefine the concept any time soon. “Individuals are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve received their primary series,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday. “That definition is not changing.”

Instead, Walensky encouraged everyone to “stay up to date with additional doses that they are eligible for.” The CDC added new information to its site Wednesday, offering details on how to stay up to date with your vaccines. Here’s who should get a booster shot:

  • All adults 18-years-old and older
  • Teens 16-17 years old (Pfizer only)

Which vaccine you received for the primary series affects how soon you can get a booster shot. For those who received Pfizer, you’re eligible for a booster at least five months after completing your two-dose series. For those who received Moderna, you must wait at least six months to receive a booster. If you received Johnson & Johnson, you should get a booster shot after two months.

Everyone aged 5 and up is currently eligible to receive a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine—either two Pfizer or Moderna doses, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson. For those between the ages of 5 and 17, only the two-dose Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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