President-elect Joe Biden got vaccinated Monday against COVID-19, part of a campaign of high-level officials to demonstrate that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Biden and his wife, Jill, each received shots at ChristianaCare Hospital in Newark, Delaware. They will each need another round of the vaccinations developed by Pfizer-BioNTech in about 21 days.
“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine,” Biden said after rolling up the left sleeve of his polo shirt and receiving the shot. “There’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking forward to the second shot. So is Jill.”
Biden had said he wanted to receive the shot publicly to boost confidence in it, but also didn’t want to cut in line ahead of health care professionals who are the first to receive it.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had urged Biden, who is 78, to get vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure continuity of government.
“The administration deserves some credit, getting us off the ground with Operation Warp Speed,” Biden said.
Vice President Mike Pence; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., each got their shots Friday.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Pence had said in front of a sign that said, “SAFE and EFFECTIVE.”
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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to receive her vaccination next week, the transition announced.
Despite the arrival of the vaccine, Biden repeated his caveats for people to wear masks, remain socially distant and avoid travel unless necessary.
“This is just the beginning,” Biden said of recovering from the pandemic. “It’s going to take time.”