President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: Democrats playing 'game of chicken' with infrastructure bills Overnight Defense: Top general acknowledges intel missed speed of Afghan collapse Overnight Health Care: US to start booster shots on Sept. 20 | Biden to require COVID-19 vaccination of all nursing home staff | Democrats embrace COVID mandates in governor races MORE said in an interview broadcast early Thursday that he and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenDoug Emhoff to lead US delegation to Paralympics in Tokyo Photo highlights from the Tokyo Olympics Melania Trump fires back at historian over Rose Garden criticism MORE will receive COVID-19 booster shots.
“We’re gonna get the booster shots,” Biden told ABC’s George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosOvernight Defense: Top general acknowledges intel missed speed of Afghan collapse Biden says troops will stay in Afghanistan until all Americans are out Afghanistan disaster puts intelligence under scrutiny MORE when asked if he and Biden had already received a third dose.
“It’s something that I think, you know, because we got our shots all the way back in I think December, so it’s past time,” Biden added. "Yes, we will get the booster shots."
EXCLUSIVE: When asked by @GStephanopoulos if he and the first lady had received booster shots, Pres. Biden says: “We’re gonna get the booster shots … We got our shots all the way back in, I think, December. So it’s past time.” https://t.co/NYCZ0NgZH8 pic.twitter.com/WWuXqTdobF
— ABC News (@ABC) August 19, 2021
The interview was taped on Wednesday, hours before the Biden administration announced that it was recommending booster shots for most Americans who are fully inoculated in an effort to reinforce vaccine protection, which has been shown to wane after time, and curb the spread of the highly infectious delta variant.
In a joint statement, top health officials in the administration said people would need boosters beginning eight months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, citing the shots’ decreasing efficacy and the delta variant.
The first booster shots are set to start going into arms on Sept. 20, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Committee on Immunization Practices.
“The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease,” the officials wrote in the statement.
CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyCDC studies show vaccine protection against infection wanes over time Questions and answers on Biden's new booster shot plan Biden administration to start booster shots on Sept. 20 MORE, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciBiden administration to start booster shots on Sept. 20 Boosters to be expanded to most vaccinated Americans: reports Overnight Health Care: DC, New York require health care workers to get vaccinated | How the delta variant took over the US | Dallas school district keeps mask mandate despite court ruling MORE, Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyCDC studies show vaccine protection against infection wanes over time Questions and answers on Biden's new booster shot plan Biden administration to start booster shots on Sept. 20 MORE and acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock all signed the statement.
Officials also said they are anticipating that booster shots will be needed for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but they are still looking into the evidence. Additional data is reportedly expected in the coming weeks.
Biden touted the importance of booster shots in remarks he delivered Wednesday, calling the third dose “the best way to protect ourselves from new variants that could arise.”
He also said the shots will be free.
“My administration has been planning for this possibility and this scenario for months. We purchased enough vaccine and vaccine supplies so that when your eight-month mark comes up, you'll be ready to get your vaccination free -- that booster shot free. And we have it available,” Biden said.
“It will make you safer and for longer," he added. "And it will help us end the pandemic faster.”
Biden publicly received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 21.
On Jan. 11, days before he was sworn into office, he publicly received his second dose.