Dec 21, 2020 - Health

Biden receives COVID-19 vaccine on live television

President-elect Joe Biden publicly received his first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in Delaware on Monday.

Why it matters: Biden, who at 78 years old is at risk for a more severe coronavirus infection, said he wanted to receive the shot live on television in order to bolster public confidence in the vaccine, which has been found by the FDA to be safe and 95% effective.

  • Incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden received her first dose of the Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine earlier in the day, per a statement.

Of note: Both of the Bidens will be eligible to receive their second dose of the vaccine before the inauguration.

The big picture: Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams received Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine live on television last Friday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other members of Congress received the shot on Friday as well.

  • President Trump tweeted earlier this month that he was “not scheduled” to take it, but looked "forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”
  • Dozens of White House staff and members of President Trump's inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past few months of the pandemic.

What's next: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff are scheduled to receive the vaccine next week.

What they're saying: Biden said through his mask after receiving his shot, "We owe these folks an awful lot. The scientists and the people who put this together, frontline workers, people who were the ones who actually did the clinical work, it's just amazing..."

  • "I think that the administration deserves some credit, getting this off the ground with operation warp speed. I also think that it's worth saying that this is great hope of doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it's available to take the vaccine," he added.
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