BETHESDA, Md. -- The nation's top infectious disease expert has received the initial dose of the newest COVID-19 vaccine alongside other federal health leaders who helped oversee its development.
Dr. Anthony Fauci received his first shot of the two-dose regimen alongside National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Each received the vaccine co-developed by NIH and Massachusetts drugmaker Moderna. Six health care workers from NIH's research hospital also received vaccination shots at the event.
The vaccinations Tuesday at the NIH campus outside Washington are part of a broader government effort to bolster public confidence in the safety of two COVID-19 vaccines recently cleared by U.S. regulators.
President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live television Monday. He took a dose of Pfizer vaccine at a hospital not far from his Delaware home, hours after his wife, Jill Biden, did the same. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband are expected to receive their first shots next week.
Other top government officials have been in the first wave of Americans to be inoculated against COVID-19 as part of the largest vaccination campaign in the nation's history.
Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other lawmakers were given doses Friday. They chose to publicize their injections as part of a campaign to convince Americans that the vaccines are safe and effective amid skepticism, especially among Republicans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.