Vice President Mike Pence on Friday publicly received the new COVID-19 vaccine, along with his wife and a top health official.
Pence, the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, got the shot just after 8 a.m. in Washington.
Second Lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams were also injected.
Pence called it a “truly inspiring day” that he said signaled the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing experts, Pence said the average vaccine usually takes between 8 and 12 years to develop. The United States is on track to administer millions of doses of the new vaccine to people less than one year from the emergence of the CCP virus.
“It is a miracle, indeed,” Pence said.
“Karen and I wanted to take the vaccine to assure the American people that while we cut red tape, we cut no corners,” Pence added.
Adams said it would be tragic for people not to get the vaccine because of a “lack of trust” because of American medical history like the Tuskegee study, which saw medical workers study 600 black men for 40 years without their consent and without properly treating them for syphilis.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the coronavirus.
The White House said in its announcement of the event that it was aimed at promoting “the safety and efficacy of the vaccine” and building “confidence among the American people.”
The Pences and Adams sat on stools in front of signs that said “safe and effective.” They were each injected by a healthcare worker from Walter Reed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma were watching.
Technicians reminded Pence and the others they would all receive a second dose in 21 days. One said they could experience “redness” and other minor symptoms. If anything more serious cropped up, they should report back.
Injections of the vaccine, produced by U.S.-based Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech, began Monday.
The vaccine received emergency authorization from drug regulators late last week. A panel on Thursday advised regulators to approve a second vaccine from U.S.-based Moderna.
Based on recommendations by a federal advisory panel, most of the first shots are going to frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes.
Most shots have gone off smoothly, but two workers in Alaska suffered allergic reactions on Wednesday—one is still in the hospital—and a nurse in Tennessee fainted after getting vaccinated on Thursday.
People with certain allergies should not get the vaccine, according to health officials.
Most people with COVID-19 show few or no symptoms and the overwhelming majority recover. A small percentage die.