Joe Biden got a COVID booster and flu shot. White House urges other Americans to do the same

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has received a COVID booster vaccination and wants Americans to do the same, the White House announced Saturday.

Biden also took a flu shot on Friday and "received his vaccination against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) several weeks ago," according to a letter from presidential physician Kevin C. O'Connor released by the White House.

"As we enter the cold and flu season, the president encourages all Americans to follow his example and to check with their health care provider or pharmacist to assure that they are fully vaccinated," O'Connor said.

A late-summer uptick in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths has some schools, hospitals and other businesses scrambling to keep illness from spreading.

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden

Biden took the shot amid rising skepticism among some Americans of vaccinations, a movement fueled by presidential challenger Robert Kennedy Jr. and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. Florida health officials this month warned against the new COVID booster, contradicting CDC guidance.

“I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs for new booster shots that have not been proven to be safe or effective,” DeSantis said earlier this month.

Dig deeper: Are COVID vaccine concerns impacting flu-shot rates? Here's what the data says.

More: Anti-vaxxer in chief? DeSantis elevates vaccine skepticism to marquee campaign issue

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House: Joe Biden received COVID booster shot; others should too