President Joe Biden speaks about the government's COVID-19 response, in...

President Joe Biden speaks about the government's COVID-19 response, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Jan. 13, 2022. President Joe Biden has gotten the updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu shot, the White House said Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has gotten the updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu shot, the White House said Saturday.

The White House physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, said in a memo that Biden received both shots on Friday. O'Connor said Biden, 80, also was vaccinated several weeks ago against the respiratory illness known as RSV.

“As we enter the cold and flu season, the President encourages all Americans to follow his example and to check with their healthcare provider or pharmacist to assure that they are fully vaccinated,” O'Connor wrote.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month endorsed the new COVID-19 shot for everyone 6 months and older. The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has faded, but there are still thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths in the United States each week.

Experts worry that immunity from previous vaccinations and infections is fading in many people, and a new shot would save many lives.

First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month but experienced only mild symptoms.

The CDC recommends that people who have COVID-19 and are in isolation should wait to get vaccinated until there symptoms are gone and isolation guidelines have been met. Children and adults who have multisystem inflammatory syndrome should wait to get vaccinated until recovering from being sick and 90 days have passed since the diagnosis, according to the CDC.

President Joe Biden speaks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's...

President Joe Biden speaks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 46th annual awards gala, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Washington. Credit: AP/Susan Walsh

Biden tested positive for COVID-19 in July 2022 and a second time slightly more than three days after he was cleared to exit coronavirus isolation. The second incident was a rare case of “rebound” infection following treatment with an anti-viral drug.

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