The Changing Definition of Fully Vaccinated

The rising number of omicron cases has prompted the official voice to redefine the term
“fully vaccinated.” Earlier, two vaccination shots without a booster (two mRNA doses or one
J&J dose) were recognized as fully vaccinated. The CDC has now updated this definition to
include individuals who have had two vaccinations plus a booster.
Now that the formal notification has been made, employers and employees should have no
uncertainty in their minds regarding the booster dose. It indicates that if an organization’s
staff members have been vaccinated but not boosted, they should get the booster dose or
take the same precautions as those who’ve never been vaccinated.

What is a COVID-19 Booster Shot?

A COVID-19 booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccination administered after the
defense provided by the original shot starts to fade over time. With a booster shot, the
immune system is tricked into believing it’s reencountering a pathogen. As a result, the
generation of antibody-producing and other immune cells increases, allowing individuals to
maintain their immunity for extended periods.

Benefits of a Booster Shot for Employees

The effectiveness of a COVID-19 booster shot is still being studied. However, a few known
benefits of it are:

Reduces Risk of New Infection

Most employees might have received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine around six
months ago. However, preliminary research on coronavirus vaccines that use mRNA to
secure individuals, such as those from Moderna and Pfizer, suggests that they eventually
lose some of their effectiveness against the infection, regardless of the virus’s variant.
It implies that two dosages, administered a few months ago, may have protected an
individual against the delta variant. But, they might be less effective against the latest
omicron variant of the coronavirus. If an employee gets the booster shot now, their vaccine’s
efficacy will be enhanced, and the risk of new infection will get mitigated.

Prevents the Spread of Infection

Most workforces often leave their homes to the office or do job-related tasks. With the
continuous arrival of new coronavirus variants, every employee who has received a single
dose of J&J’s vaccine or two shots of mRNA is at risk of being infected or spreading the
On the other hand, the booster shot provides employees with an extra layer of protection
that, hopefully, will have a longer-lasting impact. As the omicron variant spreads about 70
times faster than delta
, it makes sense to get the booster shot and cease spreading the

Supports Compromised Immune Systems

An individual’s immunological response to omicron may be less effective whether he/she
took double doses of mRNA six months ago or a single dosage of J&J two months before.
There are enough scientific trials to suggest that a booster dose enhances immune response
in trial participants who were fully vaccinated (as per the previous norms).
Clinical trials for J&J/Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech also revealed that a booster dose might
help avoid severe disease. When employees take the booster shot, their immune response
increases, and they get enhanced protection against the new variant of COVID-19.

No New Side Effects

Symptoms of a booster shot trial included brief discomfort at the injection site, chills, fever,
headache, exhaustion, diarrhea, vomiting, and joint and muscular pain. They were almost
similar to those experienced by some persons after their first and second shots. A study
conducted by the CDC advisory vaccination safety subcommittee found that the third shot of
mRNA caused fewer adverse effects than the second one.
An employee may have adverse effects whether he/she received double shots of mRNA or a
single shot of J&J. However, they could remain confident of not experiencing any new side
effects after receiving the booster shot.

Final Words

Now that regulatory bodies have permitted boosters, the definition of “fully vaccinated” has
changed. Employees who have previously been vaccinated may now have a lower level of
immunity against the coronavirus. They must realize that it is time to obtain the booster shot
and protect themselves from the severe consequences of the COVID-19 disease.