Pence, wife get coronavirus vaccine publicly

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Pence, who leads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and other officials are working to instill trust in the vaccination process.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence was vaccinated for COVID-19 on Friday in a live-television event aimed at reassuring Americans the vaccine is safe.

In remarks after his shot, Pence called the speed with which the vaccine was developed “a medical miracle.”

“The American people can be confident: we have one and perhaps within hours two” safe vaccines,” Pence said, referring to expected FDA approval for Moderna’s vaccine. Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine was the first to be approved.

“Building confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning,” he added.

Pence’s wife Karen and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also received shots during the televised White House event.

President Donald Trump’s administration helped deliver vaccinations against the coronavirus earlier than even some in his administration thought possible, launching Operation Warp Speed — the government campaign to help swiftly develop and distribute vaccines — this spring with great fanfare in the White House Rose Garden.

But five days into the largest vaccination campaign in the nation’s history, Trump has held no public events to trumpet the rollout. He hasn’t been inoculated himself. He has tweeted only twice about the shot. Pence, meanwhile, has taken center stage — touring a vaccine production facility this week and receiving a dose himself on live television Friday morning.

Pence received his shot in an office suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from three medical technicians from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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Other prominent political figures like President-Elect Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are expected to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days. 

Biden said on Tuesday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, advised him to get the vaccine “sooner than later.” Biden has said that he wants to keep frontline health care workers and vulnerable people as the top priority as the vaccine is rolled out throughout the country.

But he’s also noted the importance of him getting the vaccine publicly to build confidence among Americans to get vaccinated.

Biden said, “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.”

McConnell said that as a polio survivor, he is especially aware of the “extraordinary promise of hope” vaccines offer. He said he’ll continue to wear a mask and follow other health guidelines.

Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Capitol physician, sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to make appointments with his office to be vaccinated.

“Once we have completed the vaccination of the Members, we will follow a process to identify the continuity-essential staff members,” Monahan said, adding that his office would continue with appointments “until the small vaccine supply is exhausted.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Friday, the U.S. had more than 310,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 75 million confirmed cases with more than 1.6 million deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Marya Vinget is a freelance writer who works for may content writing agencies and for personal blog owners. She loves to write about everything from Tech to entertainment, You can hire her for the versatile writing attitude.