CDC revises 'up to date' term on COVID-19 vaccination

The CDC revised its "up to date" COVID-19 vaccination term Sept. 30 to include the primary series and the recently authorized omicron-targeting booster. 

The decision could update the "fully vaccinated" term that experts have urged regulators to update.

After omicron subvariant BA.5 dominated infections in summer 2022, the FDA and CDC fast-tracked the approval and authorization process for tweaked boosters. In late June, the CDC instructed vaccine-makers to improve their formulas to combat the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, and about two months later, Moderna and Pfizer's candidates were authorized and rolled out. 

"You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by [the] CDC," the agency said

Now, "up to date" includes the following populations, per the CDC's website: 

  • People ages 6 months through 4 years should get all COVID-19 primary series doses
  • People ages 5 years and older should get all primary series doses and the booster dose recommended for them by the CDC
    • People ages 5 to 11 years are currently recommended to get the original (monovalent) booster
    • People ages 12 years and older are recommended to receive the updated Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster
    • This includes people who have received all primary series doses and people who have previously received one or more original boosters
    • At this time, people ages 12 to 17 years can only receive the updated Pfizer bivalent booster
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines

The CDC's website still deems people who are not immunocompromised as "fully vaccinated" two weeks after their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer's series or two weeks after receiving J&J's COVID-19 vaccine. 

As of Sept. 29, 7.6 million people have received the modified booster dose. The rollout of the updated vaccine has been sluggish: Last week, about 1.5 percent of the eligible population for the new boosters had rolled up their sleeves for them. The slow rollout could be attributed to the public's confusion about their eligibility. Among vaccinated adults, 40 percent weren't sure if the new boosters were recommended for them, according to a poll run by the Kaiser Family Foundation

Vaccination trends did get a minor bump in September, though, CDC data shows. The weekly average at the end of September hovered around 400,000, while August's levels were between 100,000 and 200,000 vaccines administered each week.


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