The new HEALTH war: Redefining Mandates

The new COVID war: Redefining Vaccinated


As health officials push COVID booster shots, a debate is quickly emerging around whether the definition of “fully vaccinated” should be changed to include an additional dose of the vaccine.

Why it matters: Booster shots provide remarkably strong protection against coronavirus infections, at least for a period of time. But getting the majority of Americans to stick out their arm again would be extremely challenging.

Driving the news: Two governors said this week that they don’t consider people who haven’t received a booster shot to be fully vaccinated.

  • “We’re 11 months into the vaccination program. In my view, if you were vaccinated more than six months ago, you’re not fully vaccinated,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said yesterday.
  • “We are analyzing what we can do to create those incentives — and potentially mandates — for making sure that people are fully vaccinated, which means three vaccines,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday.
  • The New Mexico state health secretary told the AP that changing the definition of fully vaccinated is being discussed, and that he expects a new public health order to be released in the next few weeks.
  • The U.K. will adjust the definition to include booster shots, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday.

Reality check: Only 17% of U.S. adults have received a booster shot, according to the CDC, although many of those people haven’t received their primary series within the last six months and are not yet eligible.

Between the lines: NIAID director Anthony Fauci told Axios earlier this week that changing the definition federally “hasn’t been on the table yet,” but didn’t rule it out in the future.

More from Axios

(TLB) Header featured image (edited) credit:  Shot needle/crosshairs/Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios



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