Former President Jimmy Carter celebrates his 97th birthday today

Former President Jimmy Carter, seen here inPlains, Georgia, on April 28, 2019, celebrates his 97th birthday today.

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) -- Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former President, turns 97 on Friday.

The 39th President is spending the day at home in Plains, Georgia, a spokeswoman for The Carter Center said. The public is invited to send him a virtual birthday message.

Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter have maintained an active lifestyle despite health scares over the years. For decades, the couple have volunteered to build homes for Habitat for Humanity and regularly attend church services at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, has limited the Carters' activities and public appearances, causing them to have to skip President Joe Biden's inauguration in January. In April, Biden and first lady Jill Biden paid a visit to the Carters in Georgia.

The Carters are vaccinated against Covid-19 and appeared in an ad campaign in March along with other former presidents and first ladies urging Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine.

In a statement provided to CNN, Carter said he and Rosalynn got the Covid-19 vaccine so they could "get back to church, see our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and eventually be active in our community again."

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