Jan 21, 2022 - Health

Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated"

Dr. Rochelle Walensky answers questions during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky answers questions during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not changing the definition of "fully vaccinated," but is instead "pivoting the language" to get people "up to date" on their vaccinations, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said Friday.

The big picture: Walensky's remarks come after health officials and Walensky herself have gone back and forth on whether or not they would change the definition of "fully vaccinated" with the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Driving the news: "If you are eligible for a booster and you haven't gotten it, you're not up to date and you need to get your booster in order to be up to date," Walensky said.

  • "What we really are working to do is pivot the language to make sure everybody is as up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as they personally could be," Walensky added.
  • Booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines significantly reduce hospitalizations from Omicron and reduced the likelihood of a visit to an emergency department or urgent care clinic, CDC data show.

Go deeper: CDC: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations

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