Democratic governor: Biden needs to stop calling third dose a ‘booster’
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Sunday called on President Biden to stop calling the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine a “booster” because of recent data that shows that a third jab is needed to adequately protect against the new omicron variant.
Asked by host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” what he would urge Biden to tell the American people during his omicron-focused speech slated for Tuesday, Polis said he would urge Biden to reference the vaccine as three shots that are necessary for “effective prevention.”
“I would say, ‘Stop talking about the vaccine as a booster; talk about it as three doses that are needed for effective prevention.’ People who’ve gotten those three doses in our Colorado data, which is similar to the national data, are 47 times less likely to die than people that are unvaccinated,” Polis said.
“It essentially negates the risk. Nothing is risk-free in life, Chuck, but if you’re boosted you can feel very confident that if you get COVID it’ll be a minor case,” he added.
The governor also said he would tell Biden to “focus on prices, increases in prices and cost that people across the country are facing.”
“People are frustrated their Thanksgiving turkey cost 50 percent more, gas is $3.80 a gallon. Let’s show some relief. In Colorado, it’s cutting vehicle registration fees, it’s making it free to start a business. We’ve cut taxes twice. So these kinds of things that show that we’re doing what we can to make sure that families can get by and thrive,” he added.
Polis’s comments come after Anthony Fauci last week said a modified vaccine that specifically targets the omicron variant is not currently needed because “our booster vaccine regimes work against omicron.”
Early data on the omicron variant shows that protection from two COVID-19 vaccine doses decreases, but the third booster shot brings efficacy levels back up.
The omicron variant was first identified in South Africa last month but has since spread across the globe and throughout the U.S., causing caseloads to increase in a number of locations.
Asked by Todd if he is planning to change the definition of fully vaccinated in Colorado, Polis said “that’s certainly where it’s headed.”
“It looks like from everything that we know that to significantly reduce the risk of the Omicron variant three doses of the vaccine are needed,” Polis said.
“And by the way, Chuck, this is normal with many other vaccines. I have young kids, they have the DTaP vaccine. Every kid gets it: diphtheria, tetanus. It’s three doses of that vaccine to be effective. So I wish they’d stop talking about it as a booster, Chuck. It really is a three-dose vaccine, and every piece of data that we’re seeing shows that that’s the case,” he added.