Evan Vucci / AP
President Biden received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, a booster shot, on Monday. The White House hopes the publicly broadcast event will help ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine amid ongoing uncertainty among many Americans.
“Like I did with the first and second shots of the COVID-19 vaccination, I’m about to shoot my booster and do it in public,” he said.
“That’s because the Food and Drug Administration – the FDA – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the CDC – has looked at all the data, completed their review and identified the boosters for the Pfizer vaccine , others will come later, perhaps, I suppose, but the Pfizer vaccine, is safe and effective. “
The CDC at the FDA last week paved the way for Pfizer booster shots for nearly 60 million people age 65 and older, adults with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and people at higher risk because of their jobs. The third shot may be given six months after the second shot.
“I know it doesn’t look like this, but I’m over 65,” the president joked. “Way over. And that’s why I’m firing the booster today.”
The recommendation was made after data showed immunity from Pfizer shots began to weaken after six to eight months. This is controversial, as large areas of the world have not yet received a single dose of the COVID vaccine.
The CDC and FDA will consider whether to recommend booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as those companies submit data for approval.
Biden received his first dose on camera on Dec. 21, when he was appointed president, a time when a series of political leaders were working to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine. He received his second shot on Jan. 11.
Biden said she has not experienced any negative side effects from either dose of the vaccine and First Lady Jill Biden, who is 70, will also get a booster shot.
“Please, please do the right thing. Please take the shot,” Biden said Monday. “It can save your life. It can save the lives of those around you. And it’s easy, easy to access, and it’s free,” he said, calling the current stage a pandemic, “a pandemic of not new.”