CDC Expands COVID-19 Booster Recommendations and Statement on the Omicron Variant

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

CDC released this media statement on November 29, 2021:

“Today, CDC is strengthening its recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine.

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. 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.

And finally, to stop the spread of COVID-19 we need to follow the prevention strategies we know work.”

CDC also updated the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shotswebsite on November 29, 2021.

Lastly, CDC updated the COVID-19 Vaccines for Workers at Increased Risk of Exposure website on November 29, 2021.  This website contains some information on booster shots as well.

There’s a lot of valuable information regarding boosters on these websites so be sure to share them with colleagues.

 On Friday, November 26, 2021, CDC released this media statementregarding the Omicron variant:

“On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. No cases of this variant have been identified in the U.S. to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant, first reported to the WHO by South Africa. We are grateful to the South African government and its scientists who have openly communicated with the global scientific community and continue to share information about this variant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC. We are working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more about this variant, as we continue to monitor its path.

CDC is continuously monitoring variants and the U.S. variant surveillance system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the U.S.

We know what it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CDC recommends people follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, washing your hands frequently, and physically distancing from others. CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible.

Travelers to the U.S. should continue to follow CDC recommendations for traveling. CDC will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

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