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Joe Biden gets his booster shot

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WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden received his COVID-19 booster vaccination on Monday, days after federal authorities recommended a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for Americans 65 and older and approved it for others with pre-existing medical conditions and high-risk work environments.

“The most important thing we have to do is get more people vaccinated,” Biden said before receiving the booster, adding that he had no side effects after his first or second vaccination.
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Biden, 78, received his first injection on December 21st and his second dose three weeks later on January 11th with his wife, Jill Biden. Biden said the 70-year-old first lady would also get the booster dose, but she was teaching Monday at Northern Virginia Community College, where she is an English professor.

Speaking Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer booster, Biden told reporters, “It’s hard to admit I’m over 65, but I am will get my booster vaccination. ”He repeated the joke on Monday that he was over 65 years old.

Biden emerged as the booster champion in the summer when the U.S. saw a sharp surge in coronavirus cases from the more communicable cases Delta variant. While the vast majority of cases continue to occur in unvaccinated individuals, regulators pointed to evidence from Israel and early studies in the US showing that protection from so-called breakthrough cases was significantly improved by a third dose of the Pfizer shot.

But the aggressive American push for boosters, before many poorer countries were able to offer even the bare minimum of protection to their most vulnerable populations, has drawn the ire of the World Health Organization and some aid agencies that have called the US on hiatus third shots to free up supplies for global vaccination efforts.

Biden said last week that the US is buying an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – for a total of 1 billion in the coming year – to donate to less wealthy nations.

Vice President Kamala Harris, 56, received the Moderna vaccine, which federal regulators have not yet approved for a booster – but this is expected in the coming weeks. Regulators are also expecting data on the safety and effectiveness of a single dose booster dose from Johnson & Johnson soon.

According to the CDC, at least 2.66 million Americans have received booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine since mid-August. About 100 million Americans were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the Pfizer shot. US regulators recommend receiving the booster vaccination at least six months after the second injection of the first series of two doses.

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