Mike Pence receives Covid-19 vaccine on live TV: ‘I didn’t feel a thing’ | US news

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Mike Pence received the Covid-19 vaccination on live television on Friday morning, saying it was a “medical miracle” and reassuring Americans facing a surging rise of cases around the country “that hope is on the way”.

The televised event came amid concerns that the rollout of the vaccine in the US could be hampered by doubts from people over its quick authorization, the anti-vaxxer movement, and skepticism from some in the Black community because of historic distrust of institutions.

“Confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning,” the vice-president said. “I didn’t feel a thing. Well done.”

His wife, Karen Pence, and the US surgeon general, Jerome Adams, also received shots during the televised White House event. It was also attended by Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, and Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who praised Pence and said it was “now up to all of us to step forward and get vaccinated”.

In recent days, Fauci has been advocating that Pence, as well as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, get the vaccination as soon as possible “for security reasons”. Biden officials have said the president-elect will receive the vaccine in public in Delaware on Monday to send a “clear message it is safe”.

A few hours after Pence was vaccinated, House speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted photos of her vaccination.

Nancy Pelosi
(@SpeakerPelosi)

Today, with confidence in science & at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue mask wearing, social distancing & other science-based steps to save lives & crush the virus. pic.twitter.com/tijVCSnJd7


December 18, 2020

Pence is the first member of the White House to be publicly vaccinated. Trump was infected with Covid-19 in October and multiple outbreaks of the virus have occurred among staffers.

After initial reports that White House officials would be receiving the first doses of the vaccine, Trump tweeted last week that he halted the Oval Office’s rollout. “I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time,” he said.

On Friday, Pence alluded to the imminent approval of a second vaccine developed by drug company Moderna, saying “we have one and perhaps, within hours, two vaccines.”

A panel of outside advisers with the Food and Drug Administration, which is in charge of approving vaccinations, held a meeting yesterday to discuss Moderna’s vaccine. Following the meeting, the FDA could make an approval as early as Friday afternoon that would allow the vaccine’s distribution for emergency use.

The US federal government has said it has six million doses of the Moderna vaccine ready for distribution upon its approval. Nearly three million doses of a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech were distributed throughout the country this week after it was approved late last Friday.

While the White House has tried to soften the appearance of the virus’ spread in the country, Pence acknowledged that “with cases rising across the country, hospitalizations rising across the country, we have a ways to go”. On Thursday, the US had 233,271 new cases of the virus and 3,270 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly 310,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 infection.

States around the country have seen increases in infections after the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November. Public health experts have pleaded with American to stay home as Christmas and New Year approaches, and millions of Americans are expected to travel to see family. The American Automobile Association estimates that 85 million people will be traveling, most by car, between 23 December and 3 January.

An influential data model from Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted on Friday that the US will see an additional 262,000 deaths by 1 April, reaching a total of 562,000 deaths by that point. IHME had previously predicted a total of 502,000 Americans would have died from Covid-19 by that time. The institute cited rising infection and hospitalizations numbers for the uptick in its prediction. The vaccine’s rollout will save 34,000 lives, according to the institute, though it noted that mandates on masks and indoor gatherings could further curb the spread.

“The most important measures to keep the death toll down in the next months will be expanding mask use and re-imposition of some mandates in states with severe stress on hospital systems”, the institute said in a statement.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Mike Pence receives Covid-19 vaccine on live TV: ‘I didn’t feel a thing’ | US news

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