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The CDC’s COVID-19 booster recommendation has a major flaw, expert says

The CDC has releases its COVID-19 booster recommendation. Should you get a booster?

Booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults in the country — but experts are worried about the recommendation’s language.

Per Axios, the CDC said that American adults “may” get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But those with high-risk medical conditions “should” get their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

  • This slight difference in language suggests the booster shot is a luxury, and that all Americans don’t need it, experts told Axios.

Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told Axios that language matters when it comes to recommendations.

  • “I can tell you that clinicians notice that language and it matters a lot when it comes to what clinicians are recommending to their patients,” she said.
  • “My concern is that, with the messaging so muddled, the booster dose has somehow been framed as a luxury, as something that would be nice to have but it doesn’t really matter if you get it. That is not the case,” Wen said.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the CDC, said in a statement that all adults should have access to the vaccine but stopped short of advising the booster to everyone.

  • The CDC’s statement also reads: “We also strongly encourage those who were already eligible ­— older populations and individuals with underlying medical conditions ­— to get boosted before the holidays.”

That said, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser for the coronavirus, recently told Insider that everyone should get their COVID-19 booster shot as soon as possible.

  • He said he hopes to “make it crystal clear that if you have been vaccinated — go get boosted,” he told Insider.
  • “Make it really simple. If you had a primary vaccination, get a booster.”