President Joe Biden will receive a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine that was released earlier this fall on Tuesday, the White House announced.
Biden, who was previously vaccinated and boosted, was not initially eligible for the updated COVID-19 booster. Guidelines say those with past COVID-19 infections should wait 60 days before getting the updated booster.
Biden first tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21 and subsequently encountered a rebound case of the virus.
The updated vaccines were in response to a virus that has mutated over the last two and a half years. Although the original shot was quite effective, the previous vaccine has struggled to stop the spread of mild and moderate cases of the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 million Americans have gotten an updated COVID-19 booster, meaning about 7.5% of those ages 12 and up are updated on their COVID-19 vaccines.
Overall, about 216 million Americans are eligible for the shot as those who have completed their primary series can get the updated booster. The updated booster shots contain antibodies against the omicron variant and the original strain of the virus.
Although most Americans have not gotten an updated COVID-19 booster, the White House expects more will get a shot. White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said the expectation was the public would get their shots around the same time as flu shots. He said flu vaccinations tend to pick up in October, although shots are generally available for the season in September.
“We expected September to be a month where it would just start picking up. And then, again, we'd really expect vaccination to start happening in October,” Jha said. “We're out there doing everything we can to make sure that that message is getting out there and helping people understand that if you want to stay safe and healthy this fall and winter, the best thing you can do is get vaccinated.”