Former President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE said he “probably won’t” get a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine if several health regulators agree to authorize it for use among most Americans.
Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday, “I feel like I’m in good shape from that standpoint—I probably won’t.”
“I’ll look at stuff later on," he added. "I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far only authorized a COVID-19 booster shot for certain individuals who are immunocompromised, but the FDA and a 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 despite plans by the Biden administration to roll out boosters later this month.
Both Trump and former first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGOP leader's remarks on Fox underscore Trump's power White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee Ex-Trump aide sues Grisham over abuse allegations MORE received their COVID-19 shots in January. During a rally in Alabama in August, Trump recommended that people get vaccinated, which was briefly met with boos.
“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 said during the rally in Cullman, Ala., which had declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19 only a few days before.
“No, that’s OK. That’s all right,” Trump said after he started to receive boos.
“You’ve got your freedoms, but I happen 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 continued.
The issue of vaccines has largely fallen along partisan lines. About 95 percent of Democrats polled indicated in an NPR-PBS Newshour-Marist poll published Friday that they have already been vaccinated or will get vaccinated. Only 62 percent of Republicans polled said the same.
The poll also found that 37 percent of Republicans will not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Former Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in early August that the COVID-19 vaccines “work incredibly well” and said that “any claims that the vaccines are unsafe or ineffective, or that corners were cut are not true.”
He said he wished Trump’s vaccination had been televised so it could have encouraged more Americans to get inoculated, too.
“I’m glad former President Trump got vaccinated, but it would have been even better for him to have done so on national television so that his supporters could see how much trust and confidence he has in what is arguably one of his greatest accomplishments,” Azar wrote.