CDC recommends booster shots for all people 18 and older, citing omicron concerns

By: - November 29, 2021 5:02 pm

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. Meanwhile, new COVID mutations called variants are spreading across the U.S., including the delta variant and the new variant called omicron. Microphotography by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

With a new variant called omicron shaking up people across the globe, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a media statement Monday recommending that people 18 and older get a booster shot.

That would entail a booster shot 6 months after people got their initial Pfizer and Moderna shots, and two months after those who got their initial Johnson & Johnson shot.

“The recent emergence of the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in written statement.

She continued: “Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant.

“I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to vaccinate the children and teens in their families as well because strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness. I also want to encourage people to get a COVID-19 test if they are sick. Increased testing will help us identify omicron quickly.”

Meanwhile, in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis so far has made no plans to prepare for a potential new variant. The governor also stressed at an afternoon press conference that shutdowns don’t work and that “you can’t cripple your society for fear of a variant where we don’t have any meaningful data on.”

President Joe Biden on Monday also urged Americans to get a booster shot to increase their immunity against COVID-19 — and to be patient while scientists gather more data on what exactly the new omicron variant will mean.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.