Following FDA approval for two promising COVID-19 vaccines, some medical professionals and public officials have noted the potential hazards of widespread public distrust of the drug’s efficacy or safety.
In an apparent effort to assuage some of those fears, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is set to receive his first injection of the vaccine live on air.
“A recommendation by our medical and health experts”
The media-proclaimed winner of last month’s race is reportedly scheduled to appear Monday on national television to take the first dose of a vaccine developed by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.
His wife, Jill Biden, will reportedly also appear with him in Delaware and receive her inoculation during the same televised event. Because it is a two-dose vaccine, they will both require a second shot in about three weeks.
Confirmation of Biden’s vaccine schedule comes after reports that two members of his inner circle have tested positive for the virus. Those infections had nothing to do with his subsequent vaccination, according to Jen Psaki, his prospective White House press secretary.
A week after Biden’s inoculation, his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), is set to receive hers. Psaki noted that the separation is meant to ensure that both Biden and Harris do not experience any potential side effects simultaneously.
She said that the plan is to have both of them vaccinated by Inaugurations day “based on a recommendation by our medical and health experts.”
“To send a clear message”
As with other public vaccinations, the upcoming televised event is part of a larger plan to garner public trust in the vaccine. Of course, some Democrats contributed to this issue in the months leading up to Election Day by painting the Trump administration’s push for an expedited vaccine as inherently unsafe.
As Psaki argued: “It’s important to us, as [Biden has] stated many times, to send a clear message to the public that it’s safe.”
Similarly, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, received the same vaccine on Friday in a televised appearance.
Pence said at the event that he “wanted to step forward and take this vaccine to assure the American people that while we cut red tape, we cut no corners.”
The second couple was joined by Surgeon General Jerome Adams in receiving a shot. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly also received their first dose on Friday, but their vaccinations were not televised.