President-elect Joe Biden officially welcomed the newly approved coronavirus vaccine on Monday.
In an incident that was televised nationwide, the president-elect got his first of two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at ChristianaCare Hospital, which is a short drive from his home in Wilmington, Del.
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“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared, when it’s available, to take the vaccine. There’s nothing to worry about,” said Biden after getting his shot.
Biden was accompanied by Jill Biden, his wife, who had been vaccinated earlier in the day.
The first doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccines were administered into health care staff last Monday, who are on the front lines in the fight against a pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly 320,000 Americans since the virus first swept the nation in February and March.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the vaccine days earlier for emergency use, and the first doses were distributed to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three days ago, a second vaccine developed by drug maker Moderna was approved for FDA approval for emergency use.
Biden credited the administration of President Trump, saying, “I think the administration deserves some credit for getting us off the ground with Operation Warp Speed.”
Warp Pace is the name of the federal initiative launched this year by the White House to collaborate to develop a coronavirus vaccine with the major drug manufacturers.
Biden noted, however, that “this is just the beginning. … It’s going to take time.”
“in the meantime, I know I don’t want to sound like a sour note here but I hope people listen to all the experts.”I know that I don’t want to sound like a sour note here in the meantime, but I hope people listen to all the experts.
During the holiday season, the president-elect again urged Americans to wear masks and remain socially distanced.
“If you don’t have to travel, don’t travel. Because we’re still in the thick of this,” Biden said.
Calling it a “medical miracle,” Vice President Mike Pence publicly got his vaccine on Friday morning, in an incident that was also televised nationwide. He stressed that the vaccine was “safe and effective,” as his wife, second lady Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined him in taking the shots.
As part of a drive to reassure skeptical Americans that the shots are safe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., were both given doses on Friday and also publicized their injections. It is anticipated that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband will obtain their first shots next week.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have said that they would publicly take the vaccine to encourage confidence in Americans as well.
President Trump, who was hospitalized with COVID in October, did not state when his vaccination would take place.
A national poll conducted earlier this month by Fox News revealed that 61 percent of Americans are preparing to get COVID-19 vaccinated, up from 54 percent in September. Among the 28 percent who do not intend to be vaccinated, the key reasons include hurried development (23 percent), a lack of faith that it would work (21 percent), general resistance to vaccinations (13 percent), government mistrust (10 percent), and concern about side effects (9 percent ).