Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence will receive a COVID-19 vaccine in public on Friday to promote the shots and “build confidence among the American people,” the White House said Wednesday.
The Pences will be joined by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who will also roll up his sleeve at the White House.
The administration launched an initiative, Operation Warp Speed, to get COVID-19 vaccines approved in record time.
Regulators approved Pfizer’s shots last week, launching the immunization campaign, and Moderna’s version is on track for approval by the weekend.
But the vaccines are only useful if people take them.
A quarter of Americans are leery about taking the vaccines, and 15% say they “definitely” won’t take it, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week.
Public health experts say it is helpful for doctors and community leaders to vouch for the vaccines by getting immunized on camera.
The White House says President Trump is open to taking the vaccine but he wants to prioritize frontline workers — doctors and nurses got the first shots — and is a bit of a special case, since he contracted COVID-19 and may natural defenses to the diseases, anyway.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leaders infectious disease research at the National Institutes of Health, has said that Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence and President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should get the vaccines early for “security reasons.”
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