US Vice President Mike Pence receives Covid vaccine live on TV

18 December 2020, 17:59 | Updated: 18 December 2020, 18:04

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

US Vice President Mike Pence has received the coronavirus vaccine live on TV, saying he "didn't feel a thing".

The 61-year-old was administered his first jab alongside his wife Karen and US Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Friday morning in an office suite near the White House in Washington DC.

Three medical technicians from Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where President Donald Trump was admitted to after contracting Covid-19, issued the Pfizer/BioNTech shots to the trio.

Mr Pence said the speed at which the vaccine had been developed, manufactured and authorised was "a medical miracle".

Upon receiving his jab, the vice president, who like his wife did not flinch, said: "I didn't feel a thing, well done."

He added: "Hope is on the way.

"The American people can be confident - we have one and, perhaps within hours, two safe vaccines."

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Mike Pence said he "didn&squot;t feel a thing" when getting the coronavirus vaccine
Mike Pence said he "didn't feel a thing" when getting the coronavirus vaccine. Picture: PA

Moderna's drug is expected to be the next vaccine to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The 61-year-old said: "Building confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning," he said.

Surgeon General Adams also emphasised "the importance of representation" in outreach to at-risk communities and encouraged Americans to avoid disinformation around coronavirus vaccines.

The public inoculation comes after Mr Trump's administration delivered vaccinations earlier than even some of his team expected.

Operation Warp Speed - the US Government's campaign to help swiftly develop and distribute the jabs - was launched in spring with great fanfare in the White House Rose Garden.

However, five days into the rollout, the president has held no public events to herald the landmark moment, tweeting just twice about the vaccine.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both said on Thursday that they will get vaccinated in the next few days.

However, Mr Trump has not yet been inoculated, whereas president-elect Joe Biden is expected to receive his jab next week.

Earlier, the head of the FDA said his agency will move to quickly authorise the Moderna vaccine, hours after it won the key endorsement of a government advisory panel.

Stephen Hahn said in a statement that regulators have communicated their plans to Moderna, which co-developed the vaccine with the National Institutes of Health.

The announcement came after a panel of FDA advisers, in a 20-0 vote, ruled the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for those aged 18 and over.

Once the FDA's emergency use authorisation is granted, Moderna will begin shipping millions of doses, earmarked for health workers and nursing home residents, to boost the vaccination effort.

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