WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Biden will receive a COVID-19 booster shot on Monday, the White House said days after his administration green-lighted a third shot of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in certain populations.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week backed an additional dose of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk working and institutional settings.
Biden, 78, has said he and his wife, Jill Biden, would get their booster dose as soon as eligible.
“I’ll be getting my COVID-19 booster shot — and I encourage everyone who’s eligible to get theirs as well,” he said in a post on Twitter.
While scientists are divided over the need for COVID-19 booster shots now, when so many people in the U.S. and other countries remain unvaccinated, Biden announced the push in August as part of an effort to further shore up protections amid the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Only certain populations who received their last dose of Pfizer’s shot at least six months ago are eligible for another shot now, U.S. regulators said. The FDA has not yet considered Moderna’s application for boosters and Johnson & Johnson has not yet applied for one.
U.S. officials have cited a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” that state, local and federal officials as well as private employers have tried to counter with mandates to get the shots or, in some cases, face repeated testing that have faced some objections.
Experts continue to push vaccines as largely regional outbreaks of the virus across the U.S. continue to stress health care systems, which could be further exacerbated by exhausted nurses or doctors or by staff who refuse the shots.
— Reuters report, edited for style