The Real Reason President Trump Hasn't Gotten the COVID Vaccine Yet
The president is one of the last top White House officials to get vaccinated—and here's why.
The COVID vaccine has now been administered to millions of Americans and although a handful of essential politicians and officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have gotten vaccinated, President Donald Trump has yet to sit down for his shot. While you may be making assumptions about why Trump hasn't received the COVID vaccine yet, the real reason is based on science. Read on to learn why Trump is waiting to get vaccinated, and to see which side effect Dr. Fauci is bracing himself for, check out The One Side Effect Dr. Fauci Is Worried About With His Next COVID Shot.
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Trump has to wait 90 days from his COVID treatment to get vaccinated.
When Trump had COVID, he received an aggressive form of care via various drugs, including dexamethasone and remdesivir, as well as Regeneron's monoclonal antibody cocktail. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that anyone who received "monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as part of COVID-19 treatment" wait at least 90 days before getting vaccinated.
The buffer between treatment and vaccination is intended "to avoid interference of the treatment with vaccine-induced immune responses," according to the CDC. And for more up-to-date COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
But it's not clear when Trump stopped receiving the treatment.
Trump received the antibody cocktail beginning Oct. 2. Dec. 31 is exactly 90 days from the date it was announced he got the treatment, but he continued to receive it thereafter. On Dec. 17, a White House official told CNN that the president is still reaping the benefits of his COVID treatment, noting that once he reaches the appropriate window to receive the vaccination, he likely will. It's not clear, however, when that is. To see a crucial update to the CDC's guidelines on vaccinations, check out The CDC Just Changed This Important COVID Vaccine Guideline.
Even though Trump had COVID, it's still suggested that he get the vaccine.
The CDC still suggests that those who were infected with COVID get vaccinated. "Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before," the agency says.
If you had COVID but didn't receive antibody treatment, you're free to get the vaccine once the virus has left your body. The CDC says, "vaccination should be deferred until recovery from acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met to discontinue isolation." So 14 days after contracting COVID, you could seek vaccination.
However, you might choose to wait longer. "Current evidence suggests reinfection uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection," the CDC points out. "Thus persons with documented acute infection in the preceding 90 days may defer vaccination until the end of this period if desired." And for more vaccine guidance, check out These Are the Only People Who Shouldn't Get 2 Doses of the COVID Vaccine.
Many other White House officials and incoming officials have gotten the COVID vaccine.
Along with Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, Surgeon General Jerome Adams got vaccinated on live TV on Dec. 18. That same day, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that she had also gotten the vaccine, as did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
President-elect Joe Biden received his vaccine soon after, on Dec. 21. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), got inoculated on Dec. 22. And most recently, on Dec. 29, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also got vaccinated, along with her husband, Doug Emhoff. To see which states are ignoring the CDC's suggestions about the vaccine process, check out These 2 States Are Going Against the CDC's Vaccine Recommendations.