WASHINGTON — President Biden received a second Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot against the coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon, a day after federal health officials cleared an additional booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for people over 50 and for many of those who have compromised immune systems.
Officials said that people in those two categories could get another shot at least four months after they received their first booster. Mr. Biden, now 79, received a Pfizer booster in late September.
“We know boosters are critical to providing an additional level of protection,” Mr. Biden said on Wednesday, explaining why he was getting his second booster then. He got his shot after making remarks about the status of the fight against the pandemic, in which he highlighted a new website.
“It didn’t hurt a bit,” he said afterward.
Mr. Biden and his top public health advisers have repeatedly urged people to get fully vaccinated with the initial two-shot regimen required with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. And they have said that everyone should get boosted because the initial vaccination’s effectiveness against infection from the virus diminishes over time.
In taking the shot, the president is hoping to encourage a population that is already weary of the fight against Covid-19 and over the vaccines. Officials said far fewer people have received booster shots than original vaccinations.
“If you haven’t gotten your first booster, please don’t wait,” Mr. Biden said on Wednesday.
Lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill were informed on Wednesday that they too were now allowed to receive a second booster dose, if they are older than 50 or meet other criteria.
Zachary Montague contributed reporting.