With his vaccination on camera, Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, said that he is hoping to “promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday, adding that Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will also receive a vaccine dose.
Biden is expected to get inoculated publicly as well.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden told reporters Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“When I do it, I’ll do it publicly so you can all witness my getting it done.”
It is still unclear when President Donald Trump will get vaccinated. He had previously stated that he was reversing an administration directive that would make top-ranking government officials among the first to get inoculated against the virus, which has already infected seventeen million and killed more than three hundred thousand to date, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll has revealed that more than eight in ten Americans are now saying that they are willing to get vaccinated. Among them, 40 percent of respondents said that they would take it as soon as it is available to them and 44 percent said that they would wait before rolling up their sleeves.
The biggest surprise of the poll was that only 15 percent were found to refuse the vaccine entirely, a reflection of growing confidence in the rapidly developed coronavirus vaccine that is seen as a crucial turning point in the ten-month-long pandemic.
Under the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the initial public distribution of the vaccine is limited to frontline health-care workers and residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Children and young adults are expected to get the vaccine last.
Nearly three million of Pfizer’s recently approved coronavirus vaccine doses have been shipped to 145 designated locations across the United States. More doses could be on the way if Moderna is granted an emergency use authorization for its vaccine candidate this week.
Health officials are expecting to see about forty million doses available by the end of this year, which would be sufficient to inoculate twenty million individuals since the vaccine requires two doses.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.