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President-elect Joe Biden and incoming first lady Jill Biden will both publicly receive their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Delaware on Monday, as the death toll from the disease nears 320,000 in the United States.
The president-elect has set a goal of distributing 100 million vaccine shots in the first 100 days of his administration.
Biden and his wife will join a growing list of political leaders who are sharing videos or photos of themselves getting vaccinated in an effort to boost public trust in the efficacy and safety of the vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use. The federal government has allotted vaccine doses to officials according to continuity of government protocols.
Vice President Pence, along with second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, were administered their initial vaccination shots during an on-camera event on Friday.
“Vaccines are how we beat this virus,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, tweeted on Friday, after receiving his first shot.
Just received the safe, effective COVID vaccine following continuity-of-government protocols. Vaccines are how we beat this virus.
Now back to continue fighting for a rescue package including a lot more money for distribution so more Americans can receive it as fast as possible. pic.twitter.com/kSBhI3EzzM
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 18, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also shared photos of her vaccination, reminding the public to continue to follow social distancing guidelines and to wear masks as the vaccine is being distributed over the next several months.
Today, with confidence in science & at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue mask wearing, social distancing & other science-based steps to save lives & crush the virus. pic.twitter.com/tijVCSnJd7
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 18, 2020
Biden is 78, an age that puts him at higher risk of severe symptoms, should he catch the disease.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel on Sunday recommended that people over 75 be among the group prioritized next for a vaccine, following health care workers and residents and workers at long-term care facilities.
Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, who will lead Biden’s Office of Public Engagement, tested positive for the coronavirus last week. He did not have close contact with the president-elect prior to the positive test, an aide said.
According to a December NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey, 61% of Americans say they will take a vaccine when they are able to, up from 49% in September.
Among those most reluctant to get the vaccine are supporters of President Trump, people who live in rural areas, and people without college degrees.
The White House has not said when Trump or first lady Melania Trump, both of whom were infected with the virus earlier this year, would receive the vaccine.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to begin her course of vaccination next week.