“Fully Vaccinated” Doesn’t Mean What It Used to Mean

“Fully Vaccinated” Doesn’t Mean What It Used to Mean

On Dec. 8, 2021, the White House’s chief medical advisor, Anthony Fauci, MD, suggested he believed it was likely the U.S. government would change the definition of what it meant to be “fully vaccinated” to include booster shots, as well as the original two-shot regimen of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIAID COVID-19 biologics or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.1 2

Given growing concerns about the relative ineffectiveness of the available COVID-19 biologics in the United States in preventing infection and spread of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,1 2 3 Dr. Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CNN:

Right now, I don’t see that [definition] changing… tomorrow or next week. Whether or not it officially gets changed, in the definition, I think that’s going to be considered literally on a daily basis. That’s always on the table.1 2

Changing Definition of “Fully Vaccinated” May Have Legal Implications Says Fauci

Dr. Fauci went on to say that the “timing of that matters with regard to the lawsuits” that are being filed against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), lawsuits which the U.S. Supreme Court considered on Jan. 7,4 as to whether it can enforce COVID vaccine mandates for certain federal workers, as well as private businesses with 100 or more employees and require them to be “fully vaccinated” or get tested regularly. “It has implications for that, and that’s the reason why it matters,” Dr. Fauci said.1 2

What Dr. Fauci appears to be alluding to is the reluctance of the Biden administration to make it more difficult for the federal government and private businesses to abide by its mandate to ensure all employees are “fully vaccinated.” Imagine the confusion and the economic impact of suddenly requiring that employees, who are subject to the federal COVID vaccine mandate, get a third “booster” shot in order to meet the new standard of being “fully vaccinated.” Overnight, the federal government and private businesses would be faced with having to lay off millions of workers who were considered to be fully vaccinated and compliant with the mandate, and then, suddenly, were non-compliant.

In an interview with Spectrum News on Dec. 29, Dr. Fauci suggested that the label would likely evolve from “fully vaccinated” to “up to date” to identify when someone has received a booster shot. He said, “People should put aside this concern about a definition and say ‘If I want to be optimally protected, I should get boosted.’”5

This view may have been an indication that administration officials had already decided that the least politically and economically messy policy would simply be to adopt an evolutionary approach to the issue of one’s vaccination status, rather than a replacement one. Yes, someone could still be “fully vaccinated.” But not really.

CDC Says Definition of “Fully Vaccinated” Will Not Change

On Jan. 5, 2022, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, MD, confirmed that the definition of what it means to be “fully vaccinated” would not change. She said, “Individuals are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve received their primary series, that definition is not changing.”6 7

White House COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients reiterated:

Someone is considered fully vaccinated if they have received their primary series of vaccines, so if you think about the different requirements that you mentioned, travel, OSHA, CMS rules and other examples, that has not changed and we do not have any plans to change that.6 7

According to Dr. Walensky, however, while the definition of “fully vaccinated” would not change, the CDC would now begin to use the term “up to date” to encourage people to get COVID booster shots. “We are now recommending that individuals stay up to date with additional doses that they are eligible for,” Dr. Walesnky said.6 7

On Jan. 5, the CDC updated the COVID-19 page titled “Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines” on its website. It reads:

CDC now recommends booster shots at 5 months after the completion of the primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and older.8

The CDC also now recommends a booster at five months after completion of the primary series of Moderna COVID shots for those 18 years of age and older.9

Every five months?

What all this seems to mean is that, although the CDC prefers everyone get COVID booster shots, along with the one or two original shots being mandated for certain workers by the current administration, it does not intend to impose travel or employment restrictions on those who do not get boosted. One senses the reason for this reluctance has little to do with public health or science.

Of course, this could always change. It was just over a year ago that President-elect Biden said, “No, I don’t think [the COVID vaccine] should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory.”10

That policy position is now ancient history.


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Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.

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5 Responses to "“Fully Vaccinated” Doesn’t Mean What It Used to Mean"

  1. Ron S   January 10, 2022 at 2:28 am

    NFL employee must received COVID vaccine booster 💉💉💉

    Northern Dame student and staff must receive booster 💉 💉💉 vaccine within 6 months after 💉💉.
    Effective January 21 2022.
    Or be tested weekly.

    Universe of illionis student and staff must receive booster 💉💉💉 vaccine.
    Or be tested every 2 days.

    Reply
  2. Tom   January 11, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    You can never, ever be fully vaccinated because there are always cases where injected people were not protected from anything. It’s all a scam and has never been proven. Natural immunity is and always will be your best defense against anything (disease or virus) these perps dream up.

    Reply
  3. Winter Westfield   January 11, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    American Frontline Doctors have lawsuits out there against OSHA and others! So glad REAL doctors are stepping up and speaking out about all this! Peggy Hall at https://www.thehealthyamerican.org helps others in every state know all the state laws and federal laws being broken to help you fight back against getting the shot, wearing a mask, or getting tested.

    Reply
  4. Dennis   January 12, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    They created a vaccine that is ineffective against Covid, which does not stop transmission or infection. Then we find out that fully vaccinated persons are getting sick with Covid at higher rates then unvaccinated persons. Now they want to practice insanity and continue to inject more of the “Gene therapy” into people thinking more is better?

    Reply
  5. Peace   January 17, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    “Fully vaccinated” has been always very bizarre ever since I already figured they wouldn’t be protected from Covid. I have something to tell Dr. Fauci directly. Here it goes.

    Dr. Fauci,

    Just shut up and my patience is wearing very thin.I don’t trust you. Stop 🤥. You said two doses of Covid vaccine would be safe and effective last year. Now you’re encouraging third booster shot??!!! What a joke.

    Reply

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