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Booster shots could be key to omicron defense, CDC says

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 3:21 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 4:15 PM EST
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(CNN) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is strengthening its stance on boosters for all adults amid concerns over the omicron coronavirus variant.

The CDC says all adults should get a COVID-19 booster shot six months after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

”We cannot predict the future, but we can be prepared for it. To be crystal clear, we have far more tools to fight the variant today then we had at this time last year,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

Currently, 22% of fully-vaccinated people 18 years and older have gotten a booster, 32% of those 50 and older and the largest number of people booster are 65 and older at about 44%.

Pfizer is expected to seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine booster shot for those who are 16 and 17 years old, according to CNN.

”Vaccines and particularly boosters give you a level of antibody that even with variants like delta, give you a degree of cross protection, particularly against severe disease,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

There are still many unknowns when it comes to the omicron variant, but top U.S. health officials say its emergence further emphasizes the need for boosters, vaccination and prevention efforts, like wearing a mask.

”I’m not worried that the vaccines won’t work at all, but I’m worried the vaccines will take a hit on their efficacy and if they do, that’s going to make it harder to control this pandemic,” Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health, said.

So far, no omicron cases have been identified in the U.S., but officials are reiterating that the virus is still spreading and precautions should be taken amid the ongoing pandemic.

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