Liberal chat show host Bill Maher has announced he has no plans to get a COVID vaccine booster shot – and said he only got vaccinated in the first place to ‘take one for the team.’
On Friday’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, the 64 year-old said: ‘I never wanted the vaccine, I took one for the team.
‘And by the way, do you know who doesn’t get a lot of vaccines? Millennials,’ Maher said. ‘I know a lot of millennials, especially the 20 year-olds, they don’t think they need it, they’re probably right. But I tell them I didn’t want it either – I took one for the team.
‘But every eight months you’re going to put this sh*t in me?’ he asked, rhetorically. ‘I don’t know about that.
‘Maybe I don’t need one,’ he said. ‘I don’t want a one-size fits all. My body may be different than your body.’
Maher’s comments provoked the ire of former New York Congressman Max Rose, who was part of Maher’s round-table discussion on the topic.
He replied: ‘Yeah, I lost you man. That’s crazy.’
On his show Friday, Bill Maher said he does not plan to get a booster shot, drawing backlash from former Congressman Max Roe
‘My body isn’t different? Everybody’s body isn’t somewhat different?’ Maher asked in response. ‘I just read the statistics about who dies from this –
‘You’re trying to be cute, you’re rolling the dice,’ Rose said.
‘I’m not trying to be cute,’ Maher shot back.
‘I know I’m in your house,’ Rose told Maher, ‘I’m not trying to step over the line here, but genuinely, genuinely, people’s lives are on the line – and just as significantly our very way of life is on the line here.
‘It’s very important that people get vaccinated. It’s very important that-‘
‘Right, I’m saying get vaccinated,’ Maher said.
‘But if there’s a need for boosters, particularly, particularly as the evidence is showing, amongst those who have underlying conditions, amongst the elderly, so on and so forth, it’ important they take them, and it’s important they trust those who are urging them to do it,’ Rose said.
‘OK, OK,’ Maher replied, ‘but you just said underlying condition and elderly – I don’t count myself either, so is my body different? Can I have some medical autonomy?’
‘No, look, no one is mandating it for you in your particular position,’ Rose said, ‘although they might, but I do think it’s very dangerous to enter into a conversation here about personal responsibility when the truth of the matter is this is a collective responsibility.
‘If large groups of people do not get vaccinated, they go to the hospital, and our hospitals get overrun,’ said Rose. ‘You can’t get a mammogram, you can’t get a biopsy and so many other things – literally society as we know it can’t function.
‘So this is important that people are urged to get vaccinated – it’s important that they do give back.’
‘That’s why I said “the team,”‘ Maher responded, ‘because I did it for the team.’
His other guest, Andrew Sullivan, a British-American author, meanwhile, said he did get a booster shot as he is HIV positive.
Maher has previously tested positive for the virus, despite being fully vaccinated. He was asymptomatic.
Maher has previously tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated
The CDC is now recommending anyone who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine get a booster shot eight months after receiving their second dose, with the first scheduled to be administered in late September.
Officials have said that people who have received the vaccines appear to be losing some of the immunity they gained initially, and say the boosters should offer further immunity as winter approaches, amid fears of a fresh COVID spike.
‘Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalizations and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout,’ United States health officials said in a statement on August 18.
‘For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.
‘Our top priority remains staying ahead of the virus and protecting the American people from COVID-19 with safe, effective and long-lasting vaccines, especially in the context of a constantly changing virus and epidemiologic landscape,’ they added.
The goal is for people to start receiving a COVID booster shot in the fall, the CDC explains in an FAQ on its website.
The CDC maintains that COVID vaccines are working ‘very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death even against the Delta variant.
‘However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.’
Brandon Rivera, a Los Angeles County emergency medical technician, gave a second does of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Aaron Delgado, 16, at a pop up vaccine clinic on Wednesday
Some five million Americans will be eligible for boosters by late September, the New York Times reports, and the Biden administration has more than 100 million doses that could be used for boosters, plus tens of millions more in freezers at pharmacies and other locations.
The administration has also purchased more supply for delivery this fall.
Meanwhile, the United States has seen a slight dip in cases, with 43,222 reported on August 22, down from 155,496 new cases reported just two days earlier, according to CDC data.
The death rate has also declined, with 164 deaths reported on Monday, down from 375 on Saturday
About 60.8 percent of all Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, with just over half reporting that they are fully vaccinated.