24th September 2023 – (Washington) In a move aimed at promoting vaccination against COVID-19, President Joe Biden received the updated Covid-19 vaccine, as confirmed by a memo from White House physician Kevin O’Connor, which was released on Saturday. Encouraging Americans to follow suit, President Biden urged individuals to consult their healthcare providers or pharmacists to ensure they are fully vaccinated as the cold and flu season approaches.
The president received the COVID-19 vaccine alongside the annual flu vaccine on Friday, as stated in the memo by O’Connor. It is worth noting that First Lady Jill Biden recently experienced “mild symptoms” after contracting COVID-19 earlier this month. However, President Biden has tested negative for the virus.
The updated COVID-19 vaccine received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended it for all individuals aged six months and older. However, the vaccine rollout has faced its share of challenges.
With the federal government no longer involved in purchasing and distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, logistical issues and confusion regarding insurance coverage have hindered the vaccination efforts for many individuals.
Recent data on COVID-19 hospitalisations published by the CDC indicate a surge in virus levels. However, it is important to note that the CDC stopped recording individual cases after the public health emergency ended in May, making it difficult to determine the exact number of cases.
The White House has also been grappling with the rise of anti-vaccine sentiment in a politically polarized environment. Polls have shown increasing vaccine scepticism among Republican voters. A recent POLITICO | Morning Consult poll revealed that Republican voters were less likely than Democrats or independents to believe that vaccines are safe for children. Additionally, only 27 per cent of Republicans considered the COVID-19 vaccine “very safe” for adults, while 23 per cent deemed it “very unsafe.”
In contrast to President Biden, several Republican presidential candidates have disavowed the vaccine. Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy expressed regret for taking the vaccine, although his wife, a surgeon, disagreed with his stance. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also leaned towards Covid-19 scepticism.
Furthermore, Robert Kennedy Jr., who is running against President Biden in the primary, is a prominent vaccine sceptic himself.