U.S. President-elect Joe Biden received a COVID-19 vaccination on live television Monday to convince Americans that the inoculation is safe.
“I’m ready,” Biden told a nurse at a hospital in Newark, Delaware, before being injected Monday with a vaccine developed by drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech.
“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine. There’s nothing to worry about,” he said.
His wife, Jill Biden, was administered a dose of the vaccine hours earlier at the same hospital, which is near the couple’s Delaware home.
Other U.S. leaders received their vaccinations last week, including Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who was hospitalized with the coronavirus in October, has not said when he intends to get the vaccination.
Monday also brought the arrival of a vaccine produced by Moderna to sites across the country.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the Moderna vaccine emergency use authorization Friday.
The development significantly boosts U.S. vaccination efforts, with the Moderna vaccine joining the Pfizer-BioNTech one that was approved earlier this month.
The priority for the mass vaccination campaign is front-line health workers and those in nursing homes, addressing some of the most vulnerable populations before expanding to others.
A federal advisory board said Sunday the next group should be people older than age 75, as well as those working in essential fields such as firefighters, teachers and grocery store employees.
The United States has seen a surge in infections during the past two months, and in the past week has added an average of more than 215,000 new cases each day.
The U.S. leads the world with more than 318,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the global outbreak.