“CDC is updating its recommendation on [COVID-19] vaccinations: everyone 18 yrs & older should get booster shot,” Walensky said in a statement. “We have much to learn about [the Omicron variant], but we do know that COVID-19 vaccines are our best tool to avoid serious illness [and] hospitalization.”
“The emergence of [the Omicron variant] further emphasizes importance of vaccination, boosters, [and] prevention efforts needed to protect against [COVID-19],” she added. “I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
According to the CDC’s website, as of Monday, everyone aged 18 years or older “should get a booster” at least 6 months after completing their main Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccination series, or at least 2 months after completing their main Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccination series.
People “may choose” whichever COVID-19 vaccine as their booster shot.
“Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots,” the website states.
“You may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine,” it states. “These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.”
The booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States.
Those receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine would only receive half the dose that is given in the primary vaccine series.
According to the CDC, reactions that have been reported after people received their booster shots “were similar to those of the two-shot or single-dose primary series.” The agency says people can use v-safe, a smartphone-based tool, to tell the CDC about any side effects.
President Joe Biden on Monday called the Omicron variant a cause for concern but “not a cause for panic.” He said he was not anticipating any lockdowns, but urged Americans to get fully vaccinated, including taking booster shots, and also wear masks indoors in public settings.
Previously, the CDC said those aged 65 and older, as well as those 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions, live in long-term care settings, or work or live in high-risk settings should get a booster. Otherwise, everyone else “may” get a booster.
Vaccine manufacturers are immune from liability for any adverse reactions unless there’s “willful misconduct” involved.
Healthcare providers who administer COVID-19 vaccines are required by law to report any serious adverse effects or vaccination administration errors to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.