President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live television on Monday as part of a growing effort to convince the American public that vaccinations are safe.
The President-elect took a dose of Pfizer vaccine at a hospital not far from his home in Delaware, hours after his wife, Jill Biden, did the same. The injections took place the same day that a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, will begin arriving in the States. He joins Pfizer in the country’s arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 317,000 people in the United States and disrupted lives around the world.
“I’m ready,” said Biden, who was administered the dose at a hospital in Newark, Delaware. The president-elect rolled the left sleeve of his turtleneck to his shoulder, then declined the option of counting to three before the needle was inserted into his left arm.
“Go when you’re ready,” he told the nurse practitioner who administered the vaccine.
Biden stressed the safety of the vaccine and said that President Donald Trump’s administration “deserves some credit” for “starting the vaccine distribution process.”
“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people have to be ready when they are available to take the vaccine,” he added. “No reason to worry.”
He noted, however, that the vaccine distribution “will take time” and urged Americans to take precautions during the holiday season to prevent the spread of the virus, including wearing masks.
“If you don’t have to travel, don’t travel,” he says. “It’s really important.”
Biden also thanked the healthcare workers and offered praise and a nudge to Tabe Mase, the nurse practitioner who administered her first dose of the vaccine.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband are expected to receive their first vaccines next week.
Other senior government officials were among the first wave of Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the largest vaccination campaign in the country’s history.
Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., And other lawmakersreceived doses on Friday.They have chosen to publicize their injections as part of a campaign to convince Americans that vaccines are safe and effective amid skepticism, especially among Republicans.
President Donald Trump is discussing with his doctors when to take the vaccine, the White House said. He tweeted earlier this month that he was “not scheduled” to get the vaccine, but was eager to do so at the appropriate time.
The White House offered another reason to wait, saying Trump was showing support for the most vulnerable to get the vaccine first.
Trump was hospitalized for COVID-19 in October and received experimental monoclonal antibody treatment which he credited with his rapid recovery. An advisory board from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who have received this treatment should wait at least 90 days to be vaccinated to avoid potential interference.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, and other experts have recommended that Trump be vaccinated without delay as a precaution.
More political cover of Fortune:
- Biden wants change how credit scores work in America
- Workers’ advocates push to extend COVID-related emergency paid leave program
- To tackle the country’s biggest problems, Biden and Harris must prioritize gender and racial equity
- Why the unemployment system is broken and how Biden plans to fix it
- Elizabeth Warren’s Next Book arrives in april