US President-elect Joe Biden received his first injected dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday live on television. He said that he was doing this in an effort to boost confidence in its safety ahead of its wide distribution next year. He got the vaccine at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware. His wife, Jill, received the shot earlier.
“Today, I received the COVID-19 vaccine. To the scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to make this possible - thank you. We owe you an awful lot,” Joe Biden said in a tweet.
The 78-year-old incoming president told the Americans “there's nothing to worry about” when they get vaccinated and that in the meantime they should keep wearing masks and “listen to the experts.” This was the first shot in the two-stage Pfizer vaccine.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in a tweet said “This is what leadership looks like.” While Kamala and her husband will be vaccinated next week, the serving vice president, Mike Pence, and his wife got vaccinations last week.
Trump, still stewing over his loss, has yet to take part in the drive. The Republican leader who in the past has spread misinformation about vaccine risks has not said when he intends to get the shot. He tweeted earlier this month that he was “not scheduled” to take it, but said he looked “forward to doing so at the appropriate time.” Trump was hospitalised with COVID-19 in October and given an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment that he credited for his swift recovery. He will not be administered a coronavirus vaccine until it’s recommended by the White House medical team.
Meanwhile, Biden acknowledged the work the Trump White House had done for overseeing record-speedy development and the production of vaccines. Biden has said he would make the fight against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 315,000 Americans and infected more than 17.5 million his top priority when he takes office on January 20. He will be the oldest president ever to take office.
Saudi Arabia has begun inoculating people in the country with a vaccine against the pandemic, becoming the first Arab country to roll out the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Saudi health authorities had requested citizens and residents to register to receive the vaccine, which would be given free to all in the country. Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah was one of the first to receive the vaccine, as he rolled up his sleeve to receive the inoculation in front of the media.