(KGTV) — Everyone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is also being recommended for a booster shot, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Fauci said everyone who is fully vaccinated should get the booster when they're eligible, and added that the original vaccination protection of two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson is still considered "fully vaccinated."
"Now that you look at the data as it's evolved in the United States, it's very clear," Fauci said. "They wanted to make sure that the safety signals were right, and once that became very clear, right now I’m very pleased that we're in a situation where there's no confusion, there's no lack of clarity."
As of Sunday, only 59% of the eligible U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or about 196.1 million people. Of that, the CDC reports that 17.6% (34.5 million Americans) have received a booster dose.
"We would hope -- and this is something that we're looking at very carefully -- that third shot with the mRNA not only boosts you way up but increases the durability so that you will not necessarily need it every six months or a year," Fauci said. "If it doesn't, and the data show we do need it more often, then we'll do it, but you want to make sure you get the population optimally protected and you do whatever you need to do to make sure you do that."
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on recommending booster shots for all adults, and the FDA approved Moderna's and Pfizer's boosters for all U.S. adults who completed their first series of vaccines six months prior.
"We'll continue to follow the data, because right now when we're boosting people, what we're doing is following them," Fauci said. "We're going to see what the durability of that protection is, and as we always do, you just follow and let the data guide your policy and let the data guide your recommendations."
Fauci added that Americans who are fully vaccinated should feel comfortable enjoying a "typical Thanksgiving meal or Thanksgiving holiday with your family," adding that the worry is still will people who are not vaccinated.
"They're the major source of the dynamics of the infection in the community. And the higher the level of dynamics of infection, the more everyone is at risk," Fauci said of unvaccinated individuals.