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McConnell (L) and Pelosi (R). Photo: J. Scott Applewhite - Pool/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) received their first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine from the attending physician of Congress on Friday.

The latest: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) received the first dose of the vaccine on Saturday, saying afterwards, "[a]s the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue wearing masks and engage in social distancing. That is how we will beat this virus and end this terrible pandemic.”

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) posted a photo on Twitter as he received the vaccine on Saturday, adding that "[i]f enough of us take it, we will get back to normal lives."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he received the vaccine on Saturday, tweeting that the "vaccine is safe and effective, and I encourage everyone to take it as it becomes available."
  • The office of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), chair of the oversight subcommittee tasked with looking at the coronavirus crisis, told Axios' Kadia Goba that he received the vaccine at 4 p.m. Friday.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) posted a photo on Twitter as he received the vaccine Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Members of Congress, many of whom are elderly and in high-risk categories, are among the first people in the U.S. eligible to begin receiving the vaccine. Pelosi at age 80 and McConnell at age 78 — are both at risk of severe infections from the coronavirus.

  • They are among the highest-ranking government officials to have received the vaccine, joining Vice President Mike Pence, who got the vaccine publicly earlier on Friday.

Go deeper

Jan 23, 2021 - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 23, 2021 - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Latest James Bond movie release delayed for third time

An advertisement poster featuring Daniel Craig in the new James Bond movie "No Time to Die" in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

The release of the latest James Bond film, "No Time to Die," has been postponed for the third time as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate Hollywood.

The state of play: The film's release, initially scheduled for April 2020, was first postponed to November 2020, and then to April 2021. MGM said this week that movie's global debut will now be delayed until Oct. 8.