Biden receives COVID vaccine Monday
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as cameras recorded the moment Monday afternoon.
It's part of a growing effort to convince the American public the inoculations are safe.
Monday’s event came the same day a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, will start arriving in states, joining Pfizer’s in the nation’s arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 317,000 people in the United States and upended life around the globe.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden has said of his decision. Biden and his wife, Jill, thanked health care workers at the facility where they received the shots.
Top government officials last week joined the first Americans to be inoculated against COVID-19 as part of the largest largest vaccination campaign in the nation’s history.
Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other lawmakers were given doses Friday. They chose to publicize their injections as part of a campaign to convince Americans that the vaccines are safe and effective amid skepticism, especially among Republicans.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband are expected to receive their first shots next week.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was the first to receive authorization, “is safe and likely efficacious” for people who have been infected with COVID-19 and “should be offered regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
While there is no recommended minimum wait time between infection and vaccination, because reinfection is uncommon in the three months after a person is infected, the committee said people who tested positive in the preceding 90 days “may delay vaccination until near the end of this period, if desired.”
The leader of the Trump administration’s vaccination program, Moncef Slaoui, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the vaccine is safe for those who have recovered from the virus and offers stronger and potentially longer protection than does the virus itself.
“We know that infection doesn’t induce a very strong immune response and it wanes over time. So I think, as a clear precaution, it is appropriate to be vaccinated because it’s safe,” he said. “I think people should be vaccinated, indeed.”