Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on camera at United Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — part of an effort by U.S. health officials to persuade more Americans to get inoculated.
“Let’s do it,” Harris said as Patricia Cummings, a registered nurse, administered the shot in her upper left arm.
“That was easy,” she exclaimed afterward. “I barely felt it.”
Her husband, Doug Emhoff, also got a shot, though his was not on camera.
They each received the vaccine developed by Moderna, one of two COVID-19 vaccines to receive emergency use authorization in the United States. The other was developed by Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech. Both vaccines require two shots, administered about three weeks apart, to be effective. COVID-19 vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies are being evaluated.
“I trust the scientists,” Harris said. “It is the scientists who created and approved this.”
Harris, who is of Black Jamaican and Asian American ancestry, said she wanted to “encourage everyone to get the vaccine,” particularly those in the African American community who are suspicious of it and are reluctant to do so as a result.
She said she chose United Medical Center, the only public hospital in Washington, D.C., for that reason.
“I want to remind people that they have trusted sources of health and that’s where they’ll be able to go,” she said.
President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on television last week. Biden’s wife, Jill, received the vaccine as well.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence received their first doses on television earlier this month, in part to tout the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, the initiative to fast-track several coronavirus vaccines. Pence is the head of the administration’s coronavirus task force.
President Trump has yet to receive the vaccine.
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