President-elect Joe Biden is expected to get his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as next week, just days after thousands of Americans and frontline workers began receiving the shots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
CNN first reported the news, noting Biden will get his vaccination in a public setting in an effort to encourage eligible Americans to get vaccinated and to instill trust in the treatments.
“We’re working on that right now,” Biden said at an event Wednesday evening. “I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure that we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take. We’re working on that plan right now. And when I do it, I’ll do it publicly.”
Health care officials began inoculating thousands of Americans this week with Pfizer’s vaccine after the treatment received an emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration. A second candidate, made by Moderna, was deemed to be highly protective by the FDA this week and could get emergency use authorization as soon as Friday. Millions of doses of that vaccine would be shipped almost immediately.
Both treatments require two doses to work, and the U.S. currently has limited supplies on hand, meaning health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic and elderly people in long-term care facilities are first in line to receive them.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said earlier this week that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated “as soon as we possibly can,” citing security reasons
“We want him fully protected as he enters the presidency in January,” Fauci added. “So that would be my strong recommendation.”
Three former presidents, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have all said they planned to get the vaccines and do so publicly in an effort to encourage fellow Americans to get vaccinated.
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