(NEXSTAR) – COVID-19 booster shots are now available for millions of Americans, but does that mean you have to get one to be considered fully vaccinated?
It is important to qualify as fully vaccinated as it may be necessary to travel, attend large events, or gain access to indoor businesses without a recent COVID-19 test. Soon, companies with more than 100 employees will require workers to be fully vaccinated or undergo routine testing, thanks to upcoming OSHA regulations.
If you haven’t received a reminder (or aren’t eligible to receive one), there’s no need to panic. “Everyone is always considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a series of 2 injections, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single dose vaccine, such as the J & J / Janssen vaccine”, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While not having a booster won’t affect your ability to attend live sports matches or travel to Europe, the CDC recommends that you get one once you’re eligible to maximize protection. against COVID-19.
At present, only the Pfizer vaccine booster is authorized in an emergency. This means that people who received Pfizer for their original two doses can receive the third injection because the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the mixing and pairing. (A group of FDA advisers also voted to recommend a booster half-dose of the Moderna vaccine, but it has yet to be given the green light.)
The CDC recommends waiting six months between your second injection and your booster dose.
Even among Pfizer beneficiaries, only certain people are currently eligible for a recall:
- People 65 and over
- People aged 18 and over with eligible underlying health conditions (such as cancer, diabetes, lung disease, etc.)
- People who work in high-risk settings where they are more likely to encounter COVID-19 (such as first responders, grocery / food workers, transit workers, etc.)
- People who live in high-risk settings, such as nursing homes
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