Biden Defends Booster-Shot Push, Says It’s ‘Past Time’ for His
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden defended his push to give booster shots to all Americans, countering criticism that the move is unfair to other nations that are still struggling to procure a first dose of coronavirus vaccine.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired Thursday, Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden would soon get their booster shots: “We got our shots all the way back in, I think, December. So it’s -- it’s past time.”
Asked whether he’s comfortable giving all Americans -- including young, healthy adults -- a third dose when vaccines are still in short supply globally, Biden said: “Absolutely.”
“We’re providing more to the rest of the world than all the rest of the world combined,” he said, referring to an American pledge to donate more than 600 million doses by June of 2022. “We’re keeping our part of the bargain. We’re doing more than anybody.”
Biden’s health team announced Wednesday that, beginning in September, all Americans would be eligible for a booster 8 months after their second shot of either of the Pfizer Inc. or Moderna Inc. vaccines.
Health experts have expressed caution about whether all Americans need boosters.
“The data I’ve seen still suggest that much of the risk is still in the older and immunocompromised,” as opposed to younger, healthier people, said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist who served on a Covid advisory board during Biden’s presidential transition.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday there are signs that protection is fading against infection, though vaccines are still holding up in protecting against severe illness or death. She said the booster push was preventative, to ward off a collapse in efficacy before it becomes apparent.
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