Vice President Mike Pence will publicly receive the coronavirus vaccine on Friday, and President-elect Joe Biden is expected get vaccinated as soon as next week, amid concern that many Americans may refuse the injection.
Pence will get the shot during a White House event to “build confidence among the American people,” his office said in a statement. Second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams are expected to receive the vaccine along with the vice president.
Biden’s plan, which was confirmed by a transition official, comes after he pledged to get the vaccine in public to allay any fears about the shots.
“I want to make sure that we demonstrate to the American people that it’s safe to take,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware. “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly.”
Pence and Biden stand in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has wavered about whether and when he will receive the vaccine. Many public-health experts, including the head of Trump’s own vaccine initiative, said the president should be among the dignitaries who get the shots to inspire confidence in them.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said this week that Trump would encourage Americans to take the coronavirus vaccine but would not say if he would get it while he is still in office. The president was hospitalized in early October after contracting the virus.
“He will receive the vaccine as soon as the medical team determines it’s best,” she told reporters.
Pence’s and Biden’s plans to quickly receive the shots were announced days after a Covid-19 vaccine created by Pfizer Inc. And BioNTech SE received authorization for emergency use, a pivotal moment in the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 300,000 lives in the US
Yet government officials and public health have said they are worried many Americans might not take it for political reasons or skepticism about vaccines in general.
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