Amid concerns about Omicron COVID variant, CDC says all vaccinated adults should get booster – CBS Boston

(CNN) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reinforced recommendations for a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, saying all adults should get a booster six months after get a second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or two months after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

It’s a small but important correction to the wording of guidance issued earlier this month when the CDC confirmed an expanded emergency use authorization for the booster from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ky.

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“Today, CDC is strengthening its recommendation for a booster dose for people 18 years of age and older,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

She added: “The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, vaccination and preventive efforts to protect against COVID-19.

“Initial data from South Africa suggest an increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently testing the vaccine’s effectiveness in relation to this this variant. I strongly encourage the 47 million unvaccinated adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible and immunize both children and young adults in their families as strong immunity can prevent serious illness. “.

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Previously, the CDC said people should get a booster shot if they’re 50 or older, or 18 or older and living in long-term care. Otherwise, it advises that anyone 18 years of age or older can get a booster shot. Now the word “should” applies to everyone 18 years of age and older.

It will take a few weeks of testing to know for sure if the Omicron variant is more transmissible than Delta and whether it evades protection from natural infection or a vaccine. Scientists will also find out if it makes the disease worse or avoids the effects of treatments.

In the meantime, CDC will monitor Omicron’s arrival in the US. That requires an extra step of testing because the tests used to diagnose Covid-19 won’t tell people which variant they’re infected with. “I also want to encourage people to get tested for COVID-19 if they are sick. Increased testing will help us identify Omicrons quickly,” said Walensky.

And ultimately, to stop the spread of COVID-19, we need to follow prevention strategies that we know work. These include getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, improving ventilation in the home, and keeping a distance from others, especially if they are unvaccinated.

MORE NEWS: Local researchers test COVID samples to determine Omicron variant rates in Massachusetts

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