US VP Pence gets Covid-19 shots on live TV before the second vaccine is approved

US Vice President Mike Pence received his Covid-19 vaccine live on television on Friday and tried to support public support for vaccinations as US regulators were about to approve a second vaccine for emergency use. Elected President Joe Biden will be vaccinated on Monday.

Pence said he “felt nothing” after he, his wife Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams rolled up their sleeves and took injections from whitewashed medical staff and became the most high-profile recipients to receive the vaccine publicly.

After the US coronavirus deaths peaked at 3,000 for the third day in a row, Pence called the vaccinations a sign of hope, with 20 million doses expected to be distributed nationwide before the end of December and hundreds of millions more to come in the first half of 2021.

“I also think history will record that this week was the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic, but with cases rising across the country and hospital stays rising across the country, we have a way to go,” said Pence, leader of the White House. coronavirus working group.

US hospital stays have registered each of the last 20 days and are approaching 114,000 on Thursday, according to a Reuters speech.

The United States reported a record 239,903 new cases on Thursday, when the U.S. death toll exceeded 311,000.

The situation was particularly difficult in California, with more than 50,000 new cases each of the last two days and many hospitals reporting that their intensive care units are close or close to capacity. It has triggered a renewal of sweeping home orders across much of the state.

“We expect to have more dead bodies than we have room for,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a briefing on Thursday.

Pences and Adams were injected with the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE, which was approved last week. A second vaccine, from Moderna Inc, was expected to win regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, Pence said.

These vaccines require two doses, three to four weeks apart, while others in development may require a single dose. All have evolved at unmatched speeds in less than a year, thanks to technological advances and the urgent global pandemic.

In addition to the logistical challenge of the most ambitious vaccination campaign in decades, health agents must convince a skeptical public that they are safe and effective. A new Reuters / Ipsos survey found that only 61% of Americans were open to vaccination.

Pence and Adams, who are being vaccinated in public, “are symbolic of telling the rest of the country that it’s time to move on, and when your time will be vaccinated,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy. and infectious disease.

Frontline health care staff, first managers and care homes have been given priority, but a parade of high-profile jabs may soon follow. Fauci, who is still seeing patients, has said he can get the vaccine within a few days.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have volunteered for public vaccinations. President-elect Joe Biden will be vaccinated on Monday, his aides said.

While outgoing President Donald Trump has not yet received messages about social distancing and masking, he has encouraged people to be vaccinated and advocated his administration’s Operation Warp Speed ​​program to promote vaccine development and distribution.

But Trump, who survived a fight with Covid-19 a few weeks before losing the November 3 election to Biden, has not yet announced his plans to get a shot.

( Jowharwith REUTERS)