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“I didn’t feel anything. Well done,” Pence said at a White House event, where the first dose of the vaccine was given to him, his wife Karen, and Surgeon General of the U.S. Jerome Adams.
Pence let the television cameras roll while the doctors gave him the vaccine, in an attempt to generate confidence in the efficacy and safety of the preparation developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNtech.
That vaccine is the first one approved in the United States and began to be administered this Monday, and Pence’s gesture was intended to dispel the doubts of some Americans just when the government is expected to give the green light to a second preparation, that of Moderna.
“The American people can be confident: we have one, and perhaps within hours two, safe and effective vaccines for you and your families,” assured Pence, who described that achievement as a “medical miracle.”
The vice president said he expects Moderna’s vaccine to be approved “later today,” when it could receive the formal green light from the nation’s regulator, the Food and Drug Administration.
U.S. congressional leaders will also receive the vaccine in the coming days, and former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama (2009-2017), George W. Bush (2001-2009) and Bill Clinton (1993-2001) are also planning to get their shots in front of the cameras.
Trump has kept quiet about the start of the U.S. vaccination campaign and has not clarified when the vaccine will be given to him.
“I am not scheduled to receive the vaccine, but I expect to receive it at the appropriate time,” Trump wrote on Twitter last Sunday.
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday that Trump is “open” to getting the vaccine, but believes that “vulnerable people should have access to it before” he does.
McEnany recalled that Trump recovered in October from covid-19 and still has in his system “the protective effects of the experimental antibody cocktail” he received then.
Americans’ misgivings about getting the vaccine are diminishing: 71 percent are willing to get it, according to a survey this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation, while another Pew poll in early December indicated that 60 percent planned to get it.