“We know that in order to beat this pandemic and save lives… we have to get people vaccinated,” Biden said in remarks before his shot. “So please, please do the right thing.” Please take these pictures. It can save your life and it can save the lives of those around you. “
The president received his first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine before his inauguration in January. The 78-year-old president has qualified for a booster dose since receiving his second Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine more than six months ago and is in an eligible age group.
The president said First Lady Jill Biden would also receive a booster shot soon, but was not present on Monday afternoon – the president said she was teaching. The first lady is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College, near Washington.
Biden joked on Monday that he was “a lot over” 65, which is part of why he’s eligible for the shot. He said he had no side effects after receiving his first or second vaccine against Covid-19.
He noted that Americans who are fully vaccinated are already highly protected against serious illness and urged people who have not received their first vaccines to do so as soon as possible.
The President said, “The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. More than 77% of adults have received at least one injection. About 23% did not receive any injections, and this distinct minority is causing enormous damage to the rest of the country. “
“This is an unvaccinated pandemic. This is why I am moving forward with immunization requirements wherever I can, ”Biden said.
The president said on Wednesday he would travel to Chicago to explain why he thinks it’s so important that more companies institute their own vaccine requirements.
Early Friday morning, the director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, stepped aside from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers to recommend boosters to a larger group of people – the people aged 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of Covid-19 due to their workplace or institutional setting – in addition to the elderly, residents of long-term care facilities and some people with medical conditions underlying health issues.
The CDC’s recommendation includes recommendations made by its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday when it voted to recommend boosters for people 65 years of age and older and residents of long-term care facilities who received the series. of Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines at least six months ago, and people aged 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.
The CDC also approved the recommendation of vaccine advisers that people between the ages of 18 and 49 with underlying health conditions can be boosted based on their individual benefits and risks.
The United States Food and Drug Administration last week granted emergency use authorization for a booster dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in people 65 years of age and older, those at high risk of disease serious and people whose work puts them at risk of infection.
Biden spoke last week about the next phase of his administration’s plan to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and contain the Delta variant after the CDC issued its recall recommendations. He pointed out that all advice on boosters is left to scientists and doctors to determine and its administration has always led with science.
The president urged those eligible to get their booster shots as soon as possible and urged Americans to get their first shots if they haven’t already. Biden said the United States already has all the tools to beat the Covid-19 pandemic.
White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said on Friday that the United States had ensured sufficient supplies for every American to receive a Covid-19 booster and for up to 20 million Americans. had already reached the six-month mark and are therefore already eligible to draw it.
Zients said the Biden administration is prioritizing the administration of booster shots to the most vulnerable Americans – especially residents and staff of long-term care facilities – as quickly as possible. Zients said eligible Americans could receive a recall in about 80,000 locations across the country, including more than 40,000 local pharmacies.
The deployment of the booster dose also comes as the United States prepares to significantly increase the number of Covid-19 vaccines it will ship to foreign countries from 2022 in a bid to end the pandemic in the world. Biden announced last week that the United States is purchasing an additional 500 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to donate to low and lower middle-income countries around the world. These vaccines bring the US total to more than 1.1 billion vaccines donated to other countries.
This story has been updated with additional information.