Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who landed on the moon over 51 years ago, received his first COVID-19 vaccine Monday (Jan. 18), just before his 91st birthday on Jan. 20.
"Received my first Covid-19 vaccine today, a couple of days prior to my 91st birthday," Aldrin tweeted Monday afternoon.
Aldrin also shared photos of himself being vaccinated, along with a sentiment:
"I want to thank all the scientists, healthcare workers, and government officials who worked tirelessly to develop and distribute the Covid-19 vaccine," the statement reads.
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Received my first Covid-19 vaccine today, a couple of days prior to my 91st birthday. Special thanks go to two outstanding patriots, Vlad Ghenciu Esq and Brian M Cronin, for their invaluable assistance, and to my organization, Buzz Aldrin Ventures LLC for permanent support. pic.twitter.com/oONTtlIIgdJanuary 19, 2021
Aldin is no stranger to immunizations. Prior to his historic flight to the moon, during which he and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface, he and the rest of the Apollo 11 crew underwent a number of vaccinations.
Apollo astronauts were immunized against diphtheria, typhoid, tetanus, influenza, mumps, poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, smallpox and yellow fever, according to NASA. The astronauts' family members were also required to get some of these vaccinations.
"Disease exposure prevention was the most important aspect of the Apollo preventive medicine program. If exposure to infectious diseases had not been minimized or eliminated, the program would have been unsuccessful regardless of the effectiveness of all other aspects combined," the team behind NASA's medicine program for the agency's Apollo program wrote in a report.
As of Thursday (Jan. 15), over 10.5 million people in the U.S., or just about 3% of the nation's population, has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. The vaccines are being rolled out as almost 24 million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus, which has so far killed over 394,495 people across the country, according to the CDC. Worldwide, there have been close to 96 million of the novel coronavirus with over 2 million deaths.
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Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined Space.com in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.