Definition of fully vaccinated should change to include a 3rd shot, says expert

It has been nearly one year since Curtis Collins received the Pfizer Covid vaccine. He doesn't plan to get the third shot, the booster.

"No, I feel like I’m covered," he said. "Yes, I consider myself fully vaccinated I haven’t had any problems."

But medical professionals believe as COVID-19 evolves and variants emerge the definition of what fully vaccinated means should change also.

"The definition of having gotten two vaccines if it’s mRNA, or one dose, if it’s the Johnson and Johnson, was really built under a different virus," said Dr. Matthew Sims. "It is not enough any longer to just get the vaccine - you have to get the booster."

Medical doctors say research shows the booster shot is needed because the effectiveness of the vaccine can decrease after several months and may not protect against variants that continue to emerge.

"With Delta you need that booster, which is why everyone 16 and older is approved to get that booster and with omicron, we just don’t know," Sims said.

Drug makers are working to modify their vaccines.

"I think early on Moderna said it might be able to get a modified vaccine as early as 30 days and Pfizer said about 100 days," he said.

But doctors urge you not to wait for the modified vaccine…instead they advise you to get the booster shot for added protection.

Doctors maintain that being vaccinated and boosted is the key to beating this virus and reducing the number of Covid patients who need to be hospitalized.

Dr Matthew Sims spoke about the number of Covid patients being treated throughout the Beaumont system.

"Across the system it’s been about 600 for the last week or so," he said. "It doesn’t look like it’s lightening up at all."

That’s why doctors are urging people to get their Covid vaccine.

"If we can get more people vaccinated and wearing masks and doing everything we need to keep it under control, become endemic rather than a pandemic," he said.