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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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Benefits of J&J COVID-19 vaccine outweigh risks, per CDC data — Vaccine boosters are increasingly likely.
  2. Health: Some states trim COVID reporting as Delta cases surge — Fauci: New masking guidelines for vaccinated Americans under "active consideration".
  3. Politics: White House boosts funding for COVID testing in vulnerable communities — Prominent Republicans find new enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccines.
  4. Sports: Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will miss Olympics after testing positive for COVID— NFL raises vaccine pressure
  5. World: Israel to require vaccine certificates to attend social events.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
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.

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.