Vice President Mike Pence was the first high-profile member of the Trump administration to receive the coronavirus vaccine on Friday, as part of a public enlightenment campaign to urge the public to partake in the ongoing vaccination programs across states in the country.
VP Pence was administered his dose of the vaccine by a health officer from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Reacting to the vaccine administered to him, Pence said he didn’t feel a thing. The vice president also commended the work carried out so far by the Coronavirus Task Force, which he leads. Pence’s wife, Karen, also partook in the vaccination.
However, the VP noted that the country was not yet out of the woods and that Americans still need to observe social distancing and also wear their masks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said that it was a memorable moment for Americans. He assured the public of the safety and efficacy of the new vaccine, asking that Americans come out en masse to get vaccinated, Yahoo reports.
Fauci stated that panels of independent scientists and experts were called in to certify the vaccine in the process leading to its authorization, clarifying that the vaccine did not pass through the rigorous process via lobbying by officials of the Trump administration or the manufacturing companies.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week. Frontline medical workers were among the first people to get vaccinated on Monday.
The Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, was another top Trump administration that received the vaccine. He gave a thumbs up immediately after receiving his dose. In attendance at the event were Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicaid Services.
The President-elect Joseph Biden and the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would receive their vaccinations next week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both confirmed they have received their vaccination too.
However, just as he had been away from the public eyes since after his electoral loss, President Donald Trump was also absent at Friday’s event which took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The president did not speak nor comment on the event using his Twitter handle as he had always done.
Public health officials said they were glad the vice president decided to publicly get vaccinated, contrary to the disposition taken by his boss who is instead more interested in the outcome of the November 3rd presidential poll. Health officials believe that a publicized live coverage of prominent personalities getting vaccinated would instill the public’s confidence in the program.