It’s been just over two weeks since the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the U.S. Since then, public officials have been getting their doses and publicizing the events in order to build America’s confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris did her part when she publicly received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday.
KARE 11 reports that Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, received the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday in Washington D.C. President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, received the Pfizer vaccine just over a week prior. Harris’ receiving of the vaccine was live-streamed for the world to witness just as Biden’s was.
The Bidens’ injections came the same day that a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, started arriving in U.S. states. It joined Pfizer’s in the nation’s arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 335,000 people in the United States and upended life around the globe, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
Other top government officials were part of the first wave of Americans to be inoculated against COVID-19 as part of the largest vaccination campaign in the nation’s history.
Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other lawmakers were given doses on Dec. 18. They chose to publicize their injections as part of a campaign to convince Americans that the vaccines are safe and effective amid skepticism, especially among Republicans.
Of course, Republicans aren’t the only ones who are skeptical about the vaccine. A history of medical malfeasance (and that’s being generous) committed against Black people in America has left many of us with cynical attitudes towards the vaccine as well.
Still, CNN reports that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown efficacy levels of near 95 percent, according to the FDA.
According to CNN, Biden and Harris scheduled their vaccine shots a week apart so that if either of them experienced any side effects, such as headache or fever, they wouldn’t both experience them on the same day.
“That was easy! I barely felt it,” Harris said after being injected. She then thanked the staff of United Medical Center for serving “a community that is often overlooked,” and encouraged “everyone to get the vaccine” saying that it’s “relatively painless” and “safe.” Biden said much of the same after he was injected on camera.