Former US President Donald Trump, who received his COVID-19 vaccine shortly before leaving the White House in January, has indicated he is unlikely to get the booster shot expected to be approved by US health regulators in the coming months, although he stressed he is “not against it.”
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump assured he feels “like I’m in good shape” and because of that he “probably won’t” receive his third vaccine shot to bolster the immune response to the novel coronavirus.
“I’ll look at stuff later on. I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me,” Trump added.
According to the outlet, despite plans by the Biden administration to roll out boosters later in September, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only authorized a COVID-19 booster shot for certain individuals with vulnerable immune systems. The FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee have not yet given the official go-ahead for third shots to be given to Americans.
Earlier, Trump suggested that people should get vaccinated during a rally in Alabama in August, which was met with boos for a short period of time.
“You know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You’ve got to do what you have to do. But I recommend, take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines,” Trump addressed the crowd at the rally held in Cullman on August 21, noting that he was OK with some people booing at him for advising vaccination.
The former president underscored at the time that although people at the rally “got your freedoms,” he “happened to take the vaccine.”
“If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know, OK? I’ll call up, Alabama. I’ll say, ‘Hey, you know what?’ But it is working. But you do have your freedoms. You have to keep — you have to maintain that,” he concluded.
Similar pushes in favor of the approved vaccines have also been backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who serves as one of the top GOP members in the chamber, and who made a public service advertisement encouraging fellow Kentuckians to get the vaccine. US Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) also voiced a similar stance after having received his first inoculation in July.
The increased efforts to push more Americans toward vaccination coincided with a nationwide outbreak of the Delta strain, which has put a heavy burden on hospital systems and medical professionals. According to official data, the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has disproportionately impacted unvaccinated citizens.
And according to the aforementioned poll, it is primarily Republican supporters who hesitate to get vaccinated. In comparison, 5% of Democrats and 17% of Independents have declared they will not get the vaccine.
The poll also found substantial support for a booster shot, with 81% of fully vaccinated Americans saying they would get one, and 19% saying they were unsure. As of Friday, about 62% of eligible US citizens have received all of their shots.