WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden received a booster shot of Covid on Monday at the White House, just days after the CDC recommended a third injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for certain at-risk groups.
In a brief speech to the White House before receiving his third dose, the president said that “boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated.”
The roughly 23 percent of Americans who haven’t received a single bullet “are causing tremendous damage to the rest of the country,” Biden said.
Biden, 78, received his second shot of the Pfizer vaccine on camera in January. The new guidelines say that a person in the President’s age range should receive a booster six months after their second dose.
“I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I’m over 65,” Biden said. “And that’s why I’m getting my reminder today.”
Jill Biden, 70, will also receive a booster, the president said.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Friday approved a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine for people 65 years of age and older and residents of long-term care facilities, as well as people 50 to 64 years. who have an underlying medical condition.
Walensky also surprised some by extending the approval to include essential workers such as teachers and grocery store workers, going beyond the recommendations of a panel of CDC advisers.
The decision capped a highly unusual process in which senior administration health officials in August announced a plan to start giving recalls this week before career scientists from the Food and Drug Administration and CDC n ‘reviewed the data. But officials said data from Israel and the UK showed troubling signs of declining protection, especially among older people, and there was a need to act quickly.
Biden said that eventually his administration plans to offer a recall to all Americans. He also said scientists were working to review data on booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
More than 2 million people have already received a booster shot even though until Friday it was only recommended for people with immune system disorders, an indication that many Americans were unwilling to wait for the green light from CDC and FDA to receive additional dose.
Biden said he will travel to Chicago on Wednesday to stress the importance of companies instituting vaccine requirements for their employees.