Washington: President Joe Biden got an updated Covid-19 vaccine booster shot Tuesday and urged Americans to follow his example ahead of winter, saying no one need die anymore from the once devastating virus.
Biden, 79, contracted the coronavirus three months ago with mild symptoms and already received a second booster for the vaccine at the end of March.
His updated shot, given in front of journalists at the White House, targets two subvariants of the virus.
Biden announced efforts to get more Americans boosted with the new version of the vaccine ahead of major holiday travel periods at Thanksgiving and the end of the year.
"I'm calling on all Americans... to get their shot just as soon as they can," he said. "There's still hundreds of people dying each day from Covid, hundreds. That number's likely to rise this winter, but... this year, nearly every death is preventable."
Biden said the government and major pharmacy chains, whose leaders joined him on stage to witness the injection, were working together to make sure that the booster was widely available and free of charge.
"Almost everyone who will die from Covid this year will not be up to date on the shots" or have taken the government-funded therapeutics when they get infected, he underlined.
Addressing the long history of political splits on the vaccination issue, Biden pleaded for Americans to "start fresh as a country, put all the old battles over Covid behind us, put all the partisan politics aside."
"We've already lost one million Americans to Covid," Biden said, calling it "this terrible disease."
So far only 20 million Americans, including just one in five elderly people, have got the updated shot, according to the White House.