US President-elect Joe Biden will receive a Covid-19 vaccination from Tabe Masa, nurse and head of health care for employees on December 21, 2020 on the Christiana Care campus in Newark, Delaware.
Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden received a Covid-19 vaccine on live television Monday afternoon during a demonstration to encourage Americans to get their own footage if they can.
"There's nothing to worry about. I'm looking forward to the second shot," said Biden, from a Delaware hospital.
Jill Biden, the arriving first lady, was given a dose of the vaccine earlier in the day. Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris of California and her husband Doug Emhoff will be vaccinated next week.
Biden's vaccination, given by Tabe Masa, the head of health for staff at ChristianaCare Hospital, comes as officials attempt to vaccinate Americans across the country in hopes of controlling the rapidly spreading virus.
Covid-19, which killed more than 300,000 people in the United States, ravaged the nation in 2020, freezing large swaths of the economy and changing the traditional process by which presidential candidates fight.
Biden, more so than his rival, President Donald Trump, was careful to avoid spreading the virus in the course of his bid, largely avoiding major events, and suspending door-to-door campaign activity.
After receiving the vaccine, Biden credited the Trump administration with her work, saying that it "deserves some credit for getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed".
The former vice president also encouraged Americans to cancel unnecessary travel plans and wear masks.
"We owe a lot to these people, the scientists and the people who put this together, the frontline workers, the ones who actually did the clinical work. It's just amazing," Biden said.
Biden received the first dose of the Pfizer-made vaccine, which was the first to be approved by US regulators. A second vaccine from Moderna was shipped across the country over the weekend. Both require two doses several weeks apart.
Public health officials have announced plans to vaccinate up to 20 million people in the remaining weeks of 2020, but have indicated that it could be months before most people can receive shots.
Biden, one of the first Americans to receive a vaccine, recognized this long period.
"Now Moderna will be on the way too, but it will take time," said Biden. "It will take time, and in the meantime – I don't want to hear a sour note here – I hope people listen to all the experts."
In the past few days, other senior officials have also been publicly vaccinated, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump, who was hospitalized with coronavirus in October, has not yet received a vaccine.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that Trump did not receive the vaccine because he was recently treated with monoclonal antibodies.
"That's actually a scenario where we tell people, 'Maybe you should hold back on the vaccination and talk to your doctor about the right time," Adams said on CBS News.
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