Biden Receives a Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Shot
The move comes only days after federal regulators moved to allow millions of Americans to get Pfizer booster shots.
Biden receives a Pfizer-BioNTech booster and urges more Americans to get a first shot.
Biden Gets Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Vaccine On Camera
President Biden received his third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, days after federal regulators approved Pfizer boosters for Americans 65 years and older, as well as those with medical conditions and jobs placing them at higher risk.
“You’re eligible for a booster if it’s been six months since your second Pfizer shot, and if you fall into one of these categories: people over 65, which is hard to acknowledge, adults — I’m only joking folks — adults with certain underlying health conditions like diabetes and obesity, and those who are at increased risk of Covid-19 because of where you work or where you live, like health care workers, teachers, first responders, grocery store clerks. Now I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am over 65. I wish — way over — and that’s why I’m getting my booster shot today. Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated. The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. Over 77 percent of adults have gotten at least one shot. About 23 percent haven’t gotten any shots. And that distinct minority is causing an awful lot of us, an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That’s why I’m moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can.” Reporter: “Is the first lady getting hers as well today, Mr. President?” “She’s going to get one, I think she’s teaching, but she’s going to get one, yes.” Reporter: “Mr. President, what do you say to world health leaders like the World Health Organization who’s saying wealthy nations should help more countries without vaccinations to get vaccinated before they give out boosters here in America?” “We are helping, we’re doing more than every other nation in the world combined. We’re going to have well over a billion, 100 million shots, and we’re going to continue going. We’re going to do our part. We’ve also given a great deal of funding to Covax, which is a vehicle that does this. So we have plenty, plenty of opportunity to make sure we get everyone in the world to play our part, the largest part in the world of getting everyone vaccinated.”
President Biden received his third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, days after federal regulators approved Pfizer boosters for Americans 65 years and older, as well as those with medical conditions and jobs placing them at higher risk.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Biden may have gotten ahead of the government’s scientists in announcing prematurely that virtually all Americans would begin getting coronavirus booster shots this fall, but he made a show of getting his own. The president spoke briefly before he received a Pfizer-BioNTech booster on Monday afternoon.
“Let me be clear,” Mr. Biden said before he got the shot. “Boosters are important. But the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated. The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing.”
His third shot came only days after federal regulators moved to allow millions of Americans to get Pfizer booster shots if individuals received a second dose of that vaccine at least six months ago and met new eligibility rules. Frontline workers, older people and younger adults with medical conditions or jobs that place them at higher risk got the green light following weeks of intense debate within regulatory agencies that left much of the American public confused about the specifics of the booster plan.
Mr. Biden, eligible for a booster at age 78, has been vaccinated in public before when he got his first Pfizer dose last December, a contrast to his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, who received an early vaccine at the White House but did not talk about it at the time. But Mr. Biden has pursued the opposite strategy.
On Monday, he added to the air of nonchalance around the booster by answering reporters’ questions — about critiques of vaccine policy, infrastructure negotiations and other topics — while getting injected.
World Health Organization officials have called for a global moratorium on booster shot programs until the end of the year, describing them as an unequal and ineffective use of the limited pool of available vaccines. Asked about the criticism, Mr. Biden reiterated that the United States had provided more vaccine doses to the global effort than all other countries combined, and would continue to do more.
Mr. Biden said that about 23 percent of adult Americans had not received a single dose of the vaccine, and they were causing “an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country.”
Asked what vaccination percentage would get things back to normal, Mr. Biden said he was not a scientist, but that so many people “can’t go unvaccinated and us not continue to have a problem.”
Mr. Biden said that he was moving forward with vaccination requirements where he could impose them, and that he planned to travel to Chicago on Wednesday to talk about individual businesses implementing their own vaccination mandates.
A Reuters/Ipsos national survey conducted Aug. 27-30 found that 76 percent of Americans who have received at least one shot of a vaccine want a booster. Only 6 percent do not, the poll found.
Mr. Biden asked on Friday for people who were not yet eligible to be patient. He said that his administration was “looking to the time when we’re going to be able to expand the booster shots, basically across the board,” and that boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were likely in the offing.
“So I would just say, it’d be better to wait your turn in line, wait your turn to get there,” Mr. Biden said.