This Is When President Biden Will Get a Booster Shot, White House Says
The president is reportedly waiting for his third dose of the COVID shot.
On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced a six-part plan that aims to combat the spread of COVID, specifically the Delta variant that is currently wreaking havoc on much of the U.S. One aspect of Biden's plan is to encourage fully vaccinated people to get booster shots when they're eligible. This has prompted some to wonder whether the president had already gotten his booster shot. As it turns out, he's still waiting.
During the White House's daily press briefing on Sept. 10, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki if Biden had gotten his booster, since the president had emphasized the importance of these third doses. Biden received his second dose in January, meaning eight months from then would have him up for another dose last month.
"He's not gotten it yet," Psaki said in a clip posted by CBS News. "We'll wait until it's widely available, which we expect to be soon."
On Sept. 9, Biden addressed the nation and laid out his plan to put an end to the pandemic. He noted that he understood vaccinated people's anxiety about the potential for breakthrough cases, but said that, "As the science makes clear, if you're fully vaccinated, you're highly protected from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19." He added that vaccinated people are "as safe as possible, and we're doing everything we can to keep it that way, keep you safe." That includes making booster shots available.
The president acknowledged the recent confusion surrounding booster shots. "Last month, our top government doctors announced an initial plan for booster shots for vaccinated Americans. They believe that the booster is likely to provide the highest level of protection yet," Biden said.
But as the president went on to explain, decisions surrounding booster shots, including which to distribute and when each group will be eligible, will be made by the experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"We bought enough boosters, enough booster shots, and the distribution system is ready to administer them. As soon as they are authorized, those eligible will be able to get a booster right away in tens of thousands of sites across the country, for most Americans at your nearby drug store, and for free," Biden said.
Meanwhile, the FDA and CDC have expressed caution about the plan. On Sept. 9, The New York Times reported that top federal health officials advised the White House to scale back the current plan to offer booster shots to the general public shortly. The regulators say they need more time to gather and examine data. This newer development would go against the agencies' joint statement released on Aug. 18, which said they had developed a plan to begin offering booster shots eight months after an individual's second dose was administered, beginning the week of Sept. 20.