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US Vice-President Pence gets Covid jab live on TV

19 Dec 2020 10:50, Somoy English Desk
US Vice-President Pence gets Covid jab live on TV
US Vice-President Pence gets Covid jab live on TV

US Vice-President Mike Pence has received the coronavirus vaccine live on TV, telling the audience and doctors: "I didn't feel a thing."

The White House said the aim of the move was to "promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people".

Mr Pence's wife and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also received the jab at the televised White House event, reports BBC.

On Monday the US began rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The first vaccine to be approved in the US offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19.

The first three million doses of the vaccine are being distributed to locations across the 50 US states.

Meanwhile, a second vaccine, developed by Moderna, has come a step closer to receiving emergency approval after it was endorsed by a panel of experts.

As Mr Pence was receiving his jab, Mr Trump incorrectly said on Twitter that the Moderna vaccine was "overwhelmingly approved" with "distribution to start immediately". It is still awaiting final approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

More than 310,000 people have died with coronavirus in the US, which has recorded more infections and fatalities than any other country. More than 17 million cases have been recorded there since the start of the pandemic.

Mr Pence, 61, received the first of two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at 08:00 local time (13:00 GMT), along with his wife Karen and Mr Adams. He is the senior-most US official to be vaccinated so far.

"We gather here today at the end of a historic week to affirm to the American people that hope is on the way," he told the crowd, after the daily US coronavirus surpassed 3,000 for the third day in a row.

"Karen and I were more than happy to step forward before this week was out to take this safe and effective coronavirus vaccine that we have secured and produced for the American people," he continued, calling it "a truly inspiring day".

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump reversed a plan for senior members of his administration to be among the first to receive the vaccine "unless specifically necessary".

The president, who contracted coronavirus in October and recovered after hospital treatment, said he was not scheduled to take the jab but looked forward to doing so "at the appropriate time".

Correspondents say large sections of his support base have doubts about the efficacy and safety of vaccines.

President-elect Joe Biden, who at 78 is in a high-risk group from Covid-19, is expected to be vaccinated next week.

He has set a goal of 100 million vaccinations, about a third of the US population, in the first 100 days after he takes office on 20 January.

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