President Biden received his COVID-19 booster shot on Monday, days after federal regulators recommended a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for Americans age 65 or older and approved them for others with preexisting medical conditions and high-risk work environments. "The most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated," Biden said before getting the booster, adding that he did not have side effects after his first or second shots. Biden got his first shot on Dec. 21 and his second dose three weeks later, on Jan. 11, along with his wife, Jill Biden.
Biden said the first lady, who's 70, would also receive the booster dose, but she was teaching on Monday at Northern Virginia Community College, where she is a professor of English, the AP reports. Speaking on Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer booster, Biden told reporters, "It’s hard to acknowledge I’m over 65, but I’ll be getting my booster shot." He repeated the joke Monday. Vice President Kamala Harris, 56, received the Moderna vaccine, for which federal regulators have not yet authorized boosters—but they are expected to in the coming weeks.
Biden emerged as a champion of booster doses in the summer, as the US experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus cases from the more transmissible delta variant. While the vast majority of cases continue to occur among unvaccinated people, regulators pointed to evidence from Israel and early studies in the US showing that protection against so-called breakthrough cases was vastly improved by a third dose of the Pfizer shot. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)