Fauci says having a COVID booster to be considered fully vaccinate 'on the table'

Fauci and others cite studies that appear to show vaccine protection wanes over time

Updated: November 25, 2021 - 5:19am

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, says having a COVID-19 booster shot being the new threshold for being fully vaccinated is "on the table." 

"Right now, officially, fully vaccinated equals two shots of the mRNA and one shot of the J&J, but without a doubt that could change," Fauci said Tuesday in an interview for the upcoming Reuters Next conference. “That’s on the table for discussion.”

The idea of needing to have a booster to comply with government mandates on being fully inoculated, in part to keep a job, has gained momentum in recent days and weeks, with New Mexico and Connecticut’s Democrat governors making comments similar to those made by Fauci. 

Fauci also said the vast majority of Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should receive a booster shot.

"We'd like to get as many people who were originally vaccinated with the first regimen boosted," he said.

Studies from Israel and other countries have shown that vaccine protection wanes over time. While data first suggested that was mostly a problem in the elderly, there is newer evidence that it occurs among all age groups, Fauci also said in the interview.

 "That's the reason why we're very keen on getting as many people who are originally vaccinated to get a booster ... because they really do work," he said, also according to Reuters.

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