The CDC Officially Moves the Goalposts on COVID-19 Vaccination

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

The CDC has officially moved the goalposts on what it means to be vaccinated from COVID-19. We all knew this day was coming, even as an onslaught of “fact-checkers” assured us it was “misinformation” to assert such a change was coming publicly. But first, let’s talk about the details.

CDC Dir. Rochelle Walensky appeared on CBS News and shared the news that the two-dose regiment will no longer suffice to be considered “fully vaccinated.” Instead, you will need a booster jab in order to be classified as “up to date.” That comes as part of a “pivot” in language by the government, one that many were maligned for predicting.

I could have just headlined this story “Ron DeSantis was right again,” but I figured that gets a bit repetitive after a while. The Florida governor, just a few months ago, predicted the government would make this shift. In response, the media trashed him for supposedly spreading misinformation.

Well, who’s spreading misinformation now?

But past the politics of this, let’s talk about how deep unnecessary it is. For example, are boosters helping quell the spread of COVID-19, which would be the primary justification for mandates?

The answer is a resounding no. And if you want proof, look no further than Israel, which is already giving four shots of the vaccine to some populations. The small, isolated nation (which makes it perfect as a real-world case study) now leads the entire world in COVID-19 case rate.

Now, if the booster shots aren’t actually stopping the spread of COVID-19, and to be sure, they appear to be having no effect whatsoever on that front, are they at least preventing hospitalization and death at a dramatically different rate than two doses or natural immunity? The answer to that question also appears to be no, at least when talking about a major statistical difference. Yes, a three-dose regime cuts hospitalization down by a significant percentage compared to two doses (at least per the CDC’s claims), but the overall numbers aren’t that different because the hospitalization rate with two doses was already extremely low. When you keep chopping up a tiny fraction, you aren’t left with much change in absolute numbers.

Given all that information, you may be asking yourself what exactly is the point of this unrelenting push for boosters, which includes attacking anyone who attempts to apply any nuance to the discussion? That’s a very good inquiry that continues to lack a solid answer from those waging the campaign for the third (and soon to be fourth) jab. I’m not “anti-booster” for vulnerable populations (if someone chooses to get it, who am I to question?) where even a small change in efficacy could make a difference. But I see no real justification in changing the definition for the broader population of “fully vaccinated” to include having a booster. Then there’s the data that continues to show natural immunity is also highly effective in context.

In the end, if you are going to take anything from this, you can take away the fact that this is never going to stop. The major pharmaceutical companies are in bed with the government, and the rush to keep jabs going into arms is as much financial as it is political. Individual Americans will have to decide how much longer they personally want to participate in this game.

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