I read that at least 1 million people in the US got 3rd booster shot unauthorized by the CDC. I wonder whether the fact that the booster shot is not authorized by the CDC has any legal ramifications in the US.

Is it legal to get a 3rd booster shot unauthorized by the CDC in the US?

  • 1
    I see more issues for the people administering it, if they are aware that the patient already has the complete treatment. AFAIK no worries for the receiver, unless they did commit fraud in order to get the shot.
    – SJuan76
    Aug 12, 2021 at 11:38
  • The CDC doesn’t authorize individual health care decisions. It regulates vaccine supplies to control disease outbreaks. If the CDC isn’t telling providers to not provide a third shot so we don’t deplete our supply of vaccine, what possible legal ramifications could there be?
    – ColleenV
    Aug 12, 2021 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


The CDC does not authorize shots or vaccine distribution. The FDA authorizes vaccine distribution, or distribution of medicines in general. A medicine is authorized for use in a certain way, which is an "instruction" directed at the medical professional. So-called "off-label" use is discussed by the FDA here. Such use if legal, it simply stretches the limits of what the FDA was allowed to approve (e.g. was found to be safe and effective for X, was not similarly tested for Y). Patients are free to take whatever medicines they want if they can find them, and if they are not on the Controlled Substances list. Hence it's legal to take DMSO, but it's not legal to peddle it as a cancer cure.

The prescription regime for covid vaccinations seems to be somewhat relaxed, in that it is likely that many people get a vaccine without a (meaningful) doctor's exam, instead, you show up and get the shot. This is normal with flu shots. The upcoming 3rd shot approval is addressed to doctors, so they can then recommend third shots.

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