Joe Biden, Kamala Harris to receive first dose of Pfizer vaccine

BySarah Mucha and Kate Sullivan, CNN
Friday, December 18, 2020
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WILMINGTON -- President-elect Joe Biden and incoming first lady Jill Biden will receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday in Delaware, transition spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on a briefing call Friday.

The transition team did not have details on where exactly the vaccination would take place.

Psaki said that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, would receive their vaccinations the following week.

Pfizer's vaccine requires two doses administered several weeks apart in order to reach 95% efficacy.

Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper earlier this month that he would be "happy to" receive a coronavirus vaccine once Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said it was safe, and that he would get the injection in a public setting to demonstrate his confidence in it. Harris also said in the interview that she would get the vaccine.

Vice President Mike Pence has received the coronavirus vaccine during a White House event aimed at convincing skeptical Americans that the vaccines are safe.

Fauci told ABC's "Good Morning America" this week that his "strong recommendation" would be that Biden and Harris get vaccinated "as soon as we possibly can." He also recommended that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence receive the vaccination.

Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams were administered the vaccine at an on-camera event Friday morning. The Trump administration said having Pence receive the vaccine in public was part of the government's efforts to build confidence among the public in the vaccine's safety and efficacy.

Trump has not received the vaccine yet and won't be administered one until it is recommended by the White House medical team, a White House official told CNN earlier this week. The President is still receiving the benefits of the monoclonal antibody cocktail he was given after he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, the official said, but he is likely to get his shot once he moves into a timing window to receive vaccination.

The announcement from Biden's team comes after the first doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine were injected into health care workers on Monday. The vaccine was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use last week, and the first doses have been delivered to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The FDA also plans to grant emergency use authorization to Moderna for their vaccine, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Thursday night. The FDA's vaccine advisory committee made its recommendation for the vaccine Thursday, and the FDA's final decision is expected by Friday.

As part of the President-elect's plan to combat the virus, Biden has said his administration would aim to distribute 100 million vaccine shots, which is enough to cover 50 million people, in his initial 100 days in office.

Coronavirus cases are spiking across the country, and more than 311,000 Americans have been killed as of Friday afternoon.

Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be first in line to get vaccinated. It will likely be months before the vaccine is widely available to the rest of the population.

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