Health officials likely to change the definition of vaccination yet again

On Friday, the White House Covid-19 Response Team and federal public health officials held a press briefing to provide updates on the Covid-19 response effort. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president, joined the briefing along with Jeff Zients, White House Covid-19 response coordinator, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There was much discussion of synthetic vaccines provided by three large drug companies and no discussion regarding those with natural immunity after having COVID.

Nearly 58% of the total US population is fully vaccinated with a synthetic vaccine against the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over 44 million in the United States have survived COVID-19 and would have natural immunity and, like the synthetic vaccines, it is unknown how long the protection against COVID-19 and its variants lasts. So, about 72 percent of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated via synthetic or natural means.

“We have not yet changed the definition of ‘fully vaccinated.’ We will continue to look at this. We may need to update our definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ in the future,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Friday’s briefing.

If this goes forward, it will be the fourth change since 2015 that the CDC has changed what it means to be vaccinated. Prior to 2015, the official definition was an “injection of a killed or weakened infectious organism in order to prevent the disease.” From 2015 to August 2021, it was “The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease. And in September 2021 they changed it to “The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease.”

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