President Joe Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot Monday afternoon and encouraged more Americans to get vaccinated against the virus, after the federal government authorized booster shots for Americans over age 65 last week.
Boosters are useful to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Biden said, but added that believes “the most important thing” is for people to get the initial two vaccine doses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 77% of Americans have had at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, and Biden said the remaining 23% are causing “damage for the rest of the country.”
The president didn’t experience any side effects from his first or second vaccine dose, Biden told reporters as he got the jab, and added First Lady Jill Biden will receive a booster shot as well.
At 78, Biden is eligible to get a booster shot because of his age.
Biden received his initial dose of the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020, and his follow up dose in January. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer booster shots for elderly patients over the age of 65, people who have underlying health conditions like obesity and diabetes and workers who could be more exposed to the virus. Boosters should be administered at least six months after a person’s second coronavirus vaccine dose, according to the FDA. However, the agency did not authorize booster shots for the general population, which Pfizer was pursuing, after an advisory committee said there wasn’t enough evidence. The Centers for Disease Control endorsed the booster as safe and effective later that week.
Representatives for former President Donald Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes, but Trump told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month he did not plan on receiving a booster shot. “I feel like I’m in good shape from that standpoint—I probably won’t,” Trump told the newspaper, adding that “I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me.” Unlike Biden, who has received all three coronavirus vaccine doses live on camera, Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump were quietly vaccinated in January before leaving the White House.