President Biden received his COVID-19 booster vaccine Monday afternoon — calling the administration of third doses part of the White House’s effort to do “everything [it] can” to keep people safe from the virus.
“The bottom line is that if you’re fully vaccinated… you’re highly protected now from severe illness even if you get COVID-19. You’re safe, and we’re going to do everything we can to keep it that way with the boosters,” Biden said.
“But let me be clear, boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated.”
Biden, 78, became eligible for the booster last week under new federal government regulations that allow people over the age of 65 to receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The president completed his two-dose regimen of Pfizer’s vaccine before taking office in January.
Biden said that his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, 70, also plans to get a booster shot.
“I think she’s teaching. She’s gonna get one,” Biden said.
In addition to approving Pfizer’s booster shots for those over 65, the FDA has authorized a third dose for those older than 18 who have an underlying medical condition that makes them more susceptible to the disease, and workers at high risk of getting the virus from occupational exposure.
On Friday, Biden had urged eligible Americans to schedule their third booster shots.
“If you got the Pfizer vaccine in January, February, March of this year and you’re over 65 years of age, go get the booster,” Biden said at the time. “Or if you have a medical condition like diabetes, or you’re a front-line worker like a health-care worker or a teacher, you can get a free booster now. I’ll be getting my booster shot, it’s hard to acknowledge I’m over 65, but I’ll be getting my booster shot.”
President Biden completed his two-dose regimen of Pfizer’s vaccine before taking office.Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images
The Biden administration had been preparing to give out booster shots to all Americans, but their plans were nixed by federal regulators, citing the lack of data about their efficacy for the general population.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday that it’s still possible that the US will recommend third doses for everyone.
“The science may very well show that the rest of the population needs to be boosted, and we will provide those guidances as soon as we have the science to inform them,” she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”