Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Wednesday that people who received two Moderna or Pfizer shots are considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, even though federal officials will encourage third shots to bolster immunity to the disease.
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“I think it’s very important for people to know is that if you’ve gotten both shots of your mRNA vaccine, you are fully vaccinated right now. You have [a] … high degree of protection against the worst outcomes of COVID-19,” Murthy said.
The Biden administration will make booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to people who have already completed the two-shot regimen starting Sept. 20, citing evidence of waning immunity to the virus as time passes after receiving the second shot.
“Our recommendations down the line, again pending the advice and the review of the [Food and Drug Administration] and [vaccine experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], is that we believe that that third dose will ultimately be needed to provide the fullest and continually extended protection that we think people need for the virus,” said Murthy.
Federal regulators will review clinical data supporting the need for booster shots before the public is able to legally get one. Administration officials recommended that people seek their third shot eight months after receiving their second, which would prioritize the most vulnerable groups of people who had early access to the shots during the first phase of the vaccine rollout.
The administration noted an increase in breakthrough COVID-19 cases in people who had received the second shot six months prior, suggesting that immunity begins to taper off at that point.
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“Our anticipation is that if the trajectory that we are seeing continues that we will likely see in the future an increase in breakthrough hospitalizations and breakthrough deaths and … that’s how we came to the eight-month mark,” Murthy said. “There’s nothing magical about this number. … This is where judgment comes in, and it’s why we put so much time and thought into this decision.”
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Tags: Healthcare, News, Coronavirus, Vaccination, Biden Administration, Vivek Murthy, CDC, FDA, Surgeon General
Original Author: Cassidy Morrison
Original Location: People with both COVID-19 shots are fully vaccinated without booster, surgeon general says