FACT CHECK: Has Dr. Anthony Fauci Recommended 4 COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Per Year?
A post shared on Facebook claims Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has said he wants Americans to receive four COVID-19 vaccine shots each year.
There is no evidence Fauci has said this. The claim stems from a website that contains “humor, parody, and satire.”
The Facebook post reads, “Now Fauci wants 4 shots a year – 4 times the cash in their pockets,” presumably referring to COVID-19 vaccines. Fauci, the director of the NIAID and the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, has been a popular target for dubious online claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check Your Fact reviewed Fauci’s public statements, available on the NIAID website, and found no instances of Fauci advocating for four COVID-19 vaccine shots per year. He also has not proposed such a practice in his recent publications and articles. Fauci encouraged people to get a booster shot in several media appearances in early December.
Reuters reported Nov. 23 that Fauci told the outlet that “right now, officially, fully vaccinated equals two shots of the mRNA and one shot of the J&J, but without a doubt that could change” and that what is considered “fully vaccinated” is “on the table for discussion” to potentially include a booster dose in the future. When asked by a reporter at a White House press briefing on Nov. 22 about whether Americans will “be looking out at a fourth shot or shots every six months or every year,” Fauci said, “The honest answer is that we do not know at this point but we are collecting data that hopefully will inform us about that,” according to a White House transcript.
The NIAID confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email that the claim about Fauci recommending four COVID-19 vaccine shots a year is false. (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Make This Disparaging Remark Disregarding Americans In Afghanistan?)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently states on its website that people are generally considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after their single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Individuals ages 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot six months after they complete their two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two months after they received the single-dose vaccine of Johnson & Johnson, according to the CDC website. 16- and 17-year-olds who received Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine as their primary vaccination series at least six months ago are also eligible for a booster.
The inaccurate claim appears to have stemmed from an article published by Real Raw News in late November titled “Fauci Wants Americans to Get 4 Shots Per Year.” In the article, it baselessly alleges the omicron variant of the coronavirus, also known as B.1.1.529, is fabricated. Real Raw News includes a disclaimer on its website that states it contains “humor, parody, and satire.”
Despite the disclaimer on Real Raw News’ website, some social media users appear to have shared the claim from the article as if it was true. Check Your Fact has previously debunked inaccurate rumors that stemmed from Real Raw News articles, including that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was arrested by the military and that Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was hanged at Guantanamo Bay.