Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that she plans to change the definition of “fully vaccinated” through executive action to include booster shots after the initial vaccination.
At a press conference last Thursday, she said she intends to give New Yorkers “a sufficient timeframe” to comply with the change she has in mind. The state currently defines a “fully vaccinated” person as someone who has received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Hochul claimed that people underestimate the new Omicron variant because it is not making people as sick as earlier versions of the coronavirus. She said that if a “million more people” get infected, there will be “overflowing hospitals” and added that the situation is a crisis and “people are going to die.”
Hochul’s Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett declared that the state had anticipated a winter surge in cases. She said that New York remains in a “delta surge” with an Omicron waiting “in the wings.”
As Joe Biden’s top COVID advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested earlier this month that boosters may be needed for a person to be considered fully vaccinated by the federal government. He said he believes there will be an “expansion” regarding what the government considers complete vaccination.
Fauci told a CNN host that he didn’t think the governmental definition would change in the “next week” but said to “forget about what the definition is.” He said that the definition would change at some point because he wants to see people “optimally protected.”
In keeping with his preference for vague definitions, Fauci said last week that he did not like the word “mandates” because when the government commands vaccinations, the word becomes “radioactive.” Fauci said that he prefers the term “requirements” because he finds that Americans respond better to that language.