Vice President Mike Pence received a televised COVID-19 vaccination Friday morning, making him the highest-profile government official to do so publicly. Second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also received a vaccination.
President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will receive their first dose of the vaccine on Monday. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will receive theirs the following week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson said Friday afternoon that she received her first dose of the vaccine. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted that he had also received his first dose.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Pence said in brief remarks after receiving the vaccine shot. Pence also touted Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s program to produce a vaccine.
“Make no mistake about it: it’s a medical miracle,” Pence said about the vaccine, which began distribution this week. “I also believe that history will record that this week was the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Vice President Mike Pence receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the White House on December 18, 2020. CHERISS MAY / REUTERS
Pence also encouraged Americans to continue to practice social distancing, regular hand washing, and wearing a mask.
“The way through this challenging time is vigilance and a vaccine,” Pence said.
Pence, head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has taken on much of the day-to-day work on COVID-19, even as the president continues to focus publicly on the election. It’s not year clear when Mr. Trump, who has already had COVID-19, will receive the vaccine.
In a statement Wednesday night, the vice president said he and his wife, Karen Pence, are taking the vaccine publicly in order to instill confidence in it, as millions of Americans remain skeptical of the thoroughly tested products.
The vaccination took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the building that holds Pence’s office.
President-elect Joe Biden is also expected to receive the vaccine soon.
Pfizer’s vaccine is currently being distributed to high-risk health care workers, and Moderna’s vaccine is expected to reach arms before the end of the month as well.