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With the news this week that President Biden has tested positive for COVID, many Americans naturally wonder how he will fare with the virus at age 79 — and how much protection he has received from his vaccinations, which include two booster shots.
Should older Americans receive a first — and a second — booster shot to protect against COVID?
“COVID boosters are not only safe, they may save lives,” Dr. David Culpepper, a general medicine practitioner in Lexington, Kentucky, told Fox News Digital in an emailed message on Thursday.
“The benefits are unmistakable,” Culpepper also said.
“When we look at how many people being infected with COVID are now experiencing mild symptoms, this is all attributable to [the] vaccines teaching the immune system how to fight the virus.”
He continued, “It is especially important for older adults to get the boosters, due to their relative vulnerability to the virus as compared to younger people.”
President Joe Biden receives a fourth dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the South Court Auditorium on March 30, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Before receiving his second booster shot, the president gave remarks calling on Congress to pass further legislation to provide more funding to aid the pandemic response.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
He said that there are no risks to seniors from the boosters — other than “mild symptoms” post-injection.
“I have gotten a second booster,” an 84-year-old man who lives in the Washington, D.C., area told Fox News Digital. “I am more worried about complications from the virus at my age than I am about possible risks of the vaccine.”
He also shared that he is “masking up when out in public again,” after relaxing his mask routine in the last several months.
“It is especially important for older adults to get the boosters, due to their relative vulnerability to the virus as compared to younger people.”
President Biden received his first booster of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at the White House, as Fox News Digital reported at the time.
Biden received a second booster vaccination against COVID on March 30, 2022, as Fox News Digital reported.
Dr. Manjul Shukla transfers Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Worcester, Mass.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
“He [Biden] is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement on Thursday.
“He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”
The CDC recommended second COVID booster shots for older Americans in March of this year.
The agency said in a statement that “the CDC is updating its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.”
Biden’s chances of a “severe outcome” from COVID are “less than 1 percent,” despite the president being 79 years old, Dr. Nicole Saphier said on Thursday on Fox News. (Biden will turn 80 years old in November of this year.)
A woman with a mask on is shown receiving a COVID vaccination from her car.
Some Americans remain wary of vaccines that don’t yet have a decades-long track record.
“I am not getting any more vaccines,” a Scottsdale, Arizona, mother and grandmother told Fox News Digital. “I complied with the government and got two vaccines — but these boosters are a bridge too far for me. These vaccines haven’t been around for long enough.”
She continued, “I’m healthy, and I don’t feel it [COVID] is a gamble anymore. Everyone I know who has had it recently says it’s akin to a bad cold.”
The American Hospital Association (AMA) has called on federal help to better administer coronavirus vaccines into Americans’ arms.
A New York father of four shared with Fox News Digital that he will no longer get any booster shots for COVID-19.
He’s already double-vaxxed, plus has one booster shot, he said.
“I’m done with boosters and shots,” he said, sharing his personal opinion.
He added, “My doctor told me the booster [today] is only 30% effective.”
He also said, “If I do get COVID, I’ve been told to let my doctor know and he’ll get me the appropriate medicine. Then I’ll have a cold for about three days,” he said.
Deirdre Reilly is a senior editor, lifestyle, with Fox News Digital.