Biden gets Covid-19 booster shot on camera

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 5:22 p.m. ET, September 27, 2021
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1:15 p.m. ET, September 27, 2021

NOW: President Biden gets his Covid-19 booster shot


President Biden is receiving his third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the White House during an on-camera event, just days after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the booster dose for certain Americans.

"Like I did in my first and second Covid-19 vaccination shot, I'm about to get my booster shot and do it publicly," Biden said before receiving the shot.

The CDC approved Pfizer boosters for people 65 and older, people in long-term care facilities, some people with underlying health conditions and adults at increased risk of Covid-19 because of their jobs.

Biden, who is 78 years old, said last week he planned to get his third dose soon.

“Hard to acknowledge I’m over 65, but I’ll be getting my booster shot,” Biden said on Friday.

The President received his first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine ahead of his inauguration in January.

12:22 p.m. ET, September 27, 2021

Decision to recommend boosters for frontline workers was a "scientific close call," CDC director says

From CNN's Maggie Fox

The decision to recommend Covid-19 booster shots for people at occupational risk of infection was a “scientific close call,” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Sunday.

Walensky recommended last week that six-month booster doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine go to people over 65 and people over 18 at high risk of severe disease because of underlying conditions such as cancer or diabetes.

Although the CDC’s vaccine advisers voted against recommending doses for people at high risk of infection because of their work or living conditions, Walensky went with the US Food and Drug Administration’s authorization including those people.

“And where there was some real scientific discussion and scientific close call was for those people who are at high risk … by virtue of where they live or where they work,” Walensky told CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday.

“And because of that close call, and because of all of the evidence we reviewed at the FDA and the CDC, I thought it was appropriate for those people to be eligible for boosters. So who are those people? People who live and work in high-risk settings. That includes people in homeless shelters, people in group homes, people in prisons. But, also, importantly, are people who work with vulnerable communities, so our healthcare workers, our teachers, our grocery workers, our public transportation employees,” she added.

That doesn’t yet include parents of children too young to be vaccinated.

“The recommendations were not intended for that population,” Walensky said. “It is really for people who are working all of the time with many different people who might be unvaccinated, might be at high risk, and really the vulnerable occupations like our healthcare workers, our teachers, our public transportation workers,” she added.

“Right now our recommendation is for these limited people in the population over 65, high-risk workers, high-risk occupations, as well as high risk by co-morbidities," she continued.

There’s little fear of causing dangerous side effects from adding that third dose, Walensky said.

“What I can tell you is so far in the 20,000 people we've looked at, the safety signals are exactly the same as what we have seen for the second dose. And we've vaccinated over 160 million people with mRNA vaccines in this country. We have an extraordinary amount of safety data," the CDC director.

1:07 p.m. ET, September 27, 2021

Where things stand now on Covid-19 boosters 

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 booster shot at a senior living facility in Worcester, Pennsylvania.
A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 booster shot at a senior living facility in Worcester, Pennsylvania. (Hannah Beier/Bloomber/Getty Images)

President Biden is set to receive a Covid-19 booster shot soon as he looks to continue to promote vaccinations across the country.

Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argued long and hard Thursday before endorsing giving booster doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine to people 65 and older, long-term care facility residents and certain people with underlying conditions.

However, the advisers voted against recommending a booster dose for people whose jobs or situations put them at high risk of vaccine breakthrough infection — rejecting part of the US Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization.

The FDA on Wednesday had authorized giving boosters to people 65 and older and those at higher risk of severe disease and death, as well as people such as health care workers at higher risk of breakthrough infections because of their work.

What could happen next: Third doses are already approved and recommended for some people who are immunocompromised and at high risk of severe disease from Covid-19.

The FDA's EUA only covered Pfizer's vaccine, with boosters going to those who got their first two doses of Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine at least six months ago. The FDA has not decided on Moderna's application for booster authorization, and Johnson & Johnson has not yet applied.

Dr. Peter Marks, who heads the FDA's vaccine branch, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said there is no precise timeline yet for those vaccines.

"I think we understand at FDA the relative urgency here of trying to have a solution for anyone who's been vaccinated with any of the authorized or approved vaccines," Marks told the meeting.

"I can tell you that we will proceed with all due urgency to try to get there as rapidly as possible working with the various vaccine sponsors."

11:41 a.m. ET, September 27, 2021

Biden will get his booster shot this afternoon

From CNN's Allie Malloy

President Biden will receive his Covid-19 booster shot on camera today, the White House has announced.  

Biden on Friday called on Americans who have become eligible for Pfizer’s Covid-19 booster shots to get a third shot “now." At that time, he announced he would be getting one himself soon.

“Hard to acknowledge I’m over 65, but I’ll be getting my booster shot,” Biden said on Friday.