Washington, December 30
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine live on television as part of efforts to build public trust in the inoculation and urged Americans to get vaccinated for the virus.
Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were administered the vaccine at United Medical Centre in Washington, DC.
“Let’s do it,” Harris said before she received her shot on Tuesday.
She took the vaccine one week after President-elect Joe Biden received his.
Describing the process as ‘relatively painless’, Harris urged all Americans to get vaccinated.
“It’s about saving your life, the life of your family members, and the life of your community,” she said, adding: “I trust scientists. And it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine. So I urge everyone, when it is your turn, get vaccinated.”
Harris joins a growing number of elected officials and doctors who have received their coronavirus vaccines on camera to show Americans that the shots are safe.
The US Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorisation for two coronavirus vaccines: one from Pfizer/BioNTech and one from Moderna. Both Moderna’s and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have shown similar efficacy levels of nearly 95 per cent, and both vaccines require two doses administered several weeks apart.
Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, received their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine on December 21. They received the Pfizer vaccine at ChristianaCare Hospital in Newark, Delaware.
Biden and Harris staggered their vaccinations at the recommendation of medical experts, according to transition spokesperson Jen Psaki.
The reason for such a recommendation could be that if Biden and Harris reported any side effects, such as a headache or fever, they would not experience them on the same day, CNN said.
Vice President Mike Pence was administered the vaccine at an on-camera event the week prior to Biden.
Several key members of Congress have also been inoculated, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, received Moderna’s vaccine.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 335,000 in the US. PTI