Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Fauci was asked if booster shots would soon be required for someone to be considered fully inoculated, something required for many to work and enter certain businesses.
While not giving a direct yes or no answer, the infectious disease expert said the current administration is open to it.
“We’re going to be following that very carefully,” Fauci said, adding that the Joe Biden administration “might modify the guidelines” for what constitutes being fully vaccinated, based on the lasting effects of boosters.
“We don’t know right now, we have to be perfectly transparent and honest.”
Americans “should not be put off by the fact that as time goes by and we learn more and more about the protection,” the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ might change, Fauci stressed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci encourages adults 18+ to get Covid-19 booster shots: “Just go out and get boosted. We know they’re safe and we know they’re highly effective in bringing very, very, high up, the optimization of your protection… Now is the time to do it.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/jj9OMEQGMi
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 21, 2021
Those given two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson are currently considered fully vaccinated, but according to Fauci, Pfizer and Moderna recipients should already be getting boosters after six months and Johnson & Johnson recipients after two months.
“Bottom line… get boosted.”
In a separate interview with ABC, Fauci said if boosters need to provide “durability,” or more boosters will be required in the future.
“We’ll continue to follow the data because right now when we’re boosting people, what we’re doing is following them,” he said. “We’re going to see what the durability of that protection is.”
Asked whether boosters could be needed annually, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @MarthaRaddatz that health officials hope third shot “not only boosts you way up, but increases the durability so that you will not necessarily need it every six months or a year.” https://t.co/yU4Vu7n2pm pic.twitter.com/RMef78xYsh
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 21, 2021
If the durability is not up to par, Fauci explained, people could need to get shots every six months to a year.
“We would hope, and this is something that we’re looking at very carefully, that that third shot with the mRNA not only boosts you way up, but increases the durability so that you will not necessarily need it every six months or a year,” he said.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky previously said the official definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ “may” need to change in the face of booster shots being available.
Fauci himself has previously said a third shot will “likely” be needed for those already vaccinated.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said on Sunday he fully expects boosters to soon be a required part of the inoculation process.
Gottlieb told CBS he expects a “three dose vaccination” requirement, but not anytime soon due to current debates over whether younger people should be mandated to receive vaccines, despite being less at risk.