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CDC: 'May Need to Update' Definition of Fully Vaccinated Against COVID

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Health officials are considering whether or not the definition of "fully vaccinated" should be updated now that the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have approved COVID-19 boosters shots.

During a White House briefing on Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the U.S. "may need to update" its definition explaining what constitutes full vaccination against COVID.

"We have not yet changed the definition of 'fully vaccinated.' We will continue to look at this. We may need to update our definition of 'fully vaccinated' in the future," Walensky said during the briefing.

As it currently stands, the CDC describes fully vaccinated persons as "those who are ≥14 days post-completion of the primary series of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine."

Walensky also urged those who do qualify to get a booster shot.

"If you're eligible for a booster, go ahead and get your booster," she said.

CBN News previously reported that the FDA has approved two more types of booster shots and even says it's okay to mix and match different vaccines from different pharmaceutical companies.

That authorization comes with the approval of boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Authorities already approved a booster for the Pfizer vaccine for many Americans last month. 

Meanwhile, experts want more intense research of new COVID variants. At least six percent of cases in the United Kingdom are what's known as AY.4.2, a descendant of the Delta variant. COVID deaths spiked at their highest level since March in the U.K.  

U.S. researchers are also tracking that sub-variant. "From the data that I've seen, cases of the AY.4.2 have been seen in about five states, maybe about seven cases total," said Julie Hirschhorn, Ph.D., the molecular pathology lab director at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

And scientists are seeking to learn if it's more easily spread. 

"We need to remain vigilant," said Dr. Richard Besser, the CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Whether this variant will turn out to be a problem or not, until this is controlled everywhere in the world, we all remain at risk." 

Overall, new cases are on the decline in the U.S., but cases and hospital admissions are on the rise in 10 states that experience colder climates as more people gravitate indoors.

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