The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday strengthened its recommendation that all adults receive their boosters six months after getting the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or two months after the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. "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."
Walensky added that she "strongly" encourages the 47 million American 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."
Scientists are now conducting tests to determine whether the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the highly contagious Delta variant and if it causes more severe disease.