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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.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker