‘A Matter Of When, Not If’: Fauci Expects Definition Of ‘Fully Vaccinated’ To Change


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is moving the goalposts — again.

During an interview on CNN, Fauci said he anticipates the definition of being “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 will change.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the definition of full vaccination involves receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, two doses of the Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Fauci seemed to suggest that the definition may change again.

Below is a transcript of the exchange:


BOLDUAN: “Pfizer’s chief scientific officer said this morning on CNN that he thinks fully vaccinated against Omicron, it means three doses. So, do you think the definition of fully vaccinated should now change?”

FAUCI: “Well, you know, as you say, it’s — it’s a technical, almost semantic definition. And it is the definition for requirements, if someone says, are you fully vaccinated to be able to attend class in a university or college or be able to work in a workplace. Right now, Kate, I don’t see that changing tomorrow or this week or next week. But certainly if you want to talk about optimal protection is, I don’t think anyone would argue that optimal protection is going to be with a third shot. Whether or not it officially gets changed in the definition, I think that’s going to be considered literally on a daily basis. That’s always on the table.”

BOLDUAN: “Always on the table. Because this — and this discussion has been going on for a bit. And I was just kind of with this data coming in this morning, I’m kind of stuck with is it a matter now of when, not if, the definition of fully vaccinated changes?”

FAUCI: “You know, my own personal opinion, Kate, is what you said is correct. It’s going to be a matter of when, not if.”


BOLDUAN: “Does timing of that matter?”

FAUCI: “Well, timing of that matters, Kate, with regard to the lawsuits that are now about OSHA and whether or not a fully vaccinated person that — that — as you know, that — that — that point that was made by the president that private businesses with 100 or more people either should be fully vaccinated or get tested regularly, that federal workers, as you know, are required to be vaccinated, certain people who come under the Medicare/Medicaid. It has implications for that, and that’s the reason why it matters.”

BOLDUAN: “Because there are broad — there’s broad implications for how — how — who — who and when and how — but for you, is sooner — is it sooner rather than later that you’d like to see the definition change if this is just what the data is showing us?”


FAUCI: “You know, Kate, for me as a public health person, I just say get — get your third shot, forget about what the definition is. I just want to see people be optimally protected. That’s what I’m concerned about. And for me that’s unequivocally and unquestionably getting a third shot boost.”


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