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'There's nothing to worry about': Joe Biden gets Covid-19 vaccine live on TV
21 December 2020, 22:28
President-elect Joe Biden has received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live TV as part of a growing effort to convince the American public the inoculations are safe.
He took a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech drug at a hospital not far from his Delaware home just hours after his wife, Jill Biden, did the same.
The injections came the same day that a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, will start arriving in US, joining Pfizer in the nation's arsenal against the virus, which has now killed more than 317,000 people in the United States.
"I'm ready," Mr Biden said, declining to count to three before the needle was inserted into his left arm.
"I'm doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it's available to take the vaccine. There's nothing to worry about."
The president-elect praised the healthcare workers and said president Donald Trump's administration "deserves some credit getting this off the ground".
And Mr Biden urged Americans to wear masks during the upcoming Christmas holiday and not travel unless necessary.
Other top Government officials last week joined 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, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other politicians were given doses on Friday.
They chose to publicise their injections as part of a campaign to convince Americans that the vaccines are safe and effective amid scepticism, especially among Republicans.
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband are expected to receive their first shots next week.
But missing from the action has been Mr Trump, who has spent the last week largely out of sight as he continues to digest his election loss and floats increasingly outlandish schemes to try to remain in power.
President Trump, who in the past has spread misinformation about vaccine risks, has not said when he intends to get the shot. He tweeted earlier this month that he was "not scheduled" to take it, but said he looked "forward to doing so at the appropriate time".
The White House has said he is still discussing timing with his doctors.
Mr Trump was hospitalised with Covid in October and given an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment that he credited for his swift recovery.
It is an approach that has bewildered some top aides who see his silence as a missed opportunity for the president, who leaves office January 20, to claim credit for helping oversee the speedy development of the vaccine and to burnish his legacy.