President Joe Biden received his booster shot on camera Monday after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the additional vaccine for individuals aged 65 and older.
The Biden administration’s prediction that the booster shot would be widely available by mid-September was derailed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices only approved the shot – specifically, the Pfizer vaccine – for the elderly population and those at risk of serious disease. The FDA authorized the shot for these groups as well as for anyone who is put at high risk of contracting the virus due to “frequent institutional or occupational exposure.”
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky overruled her agency advisory panel, recommending the vaccine for frontline workers in a decision that came overnight on Sept. 22. White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted Biden would get the booster shot soon after it became approved, and the White House announced Monday morning that the president would receive it later that afternoon.
“I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am over 65 … and that’s why I’m getting my booster shot today,” Biden said in brief remarks just prior to getting the vaccine. (RELATED: ‘The Choice Is Yours’: In Line With CDC’s Mask Guidance, Biden Gives Americans An Ultimatum On Vaccines)
“The bottom line is if you’re fully vaccinated and you’re highly protected now from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19, you’re safe and we’re going to do everything that we can to keep it that way with the boosters,” Biden added. “But let me be clear. 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. ”
Biden said “this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” giving this as a reason for “moving forward” with various vaccine requirements. The president announced earlier in September that any private company with 100 or more employees must mandate vaccines for employees or have individuals undergo weekly testing. This is just the latest vaccine mandate the administration has enforced in recent months.
As the president received his booster shot, he told reporters First Lady Jill Biden also plans to get it at some point.