Harris: ‘Of course I will’ take COVID-19 vaccine
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris confirmed Thursday that she would take the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and made available to the public.
During a joint interview with President-elect Joe Biden and Harris — their first since winning the election — CNN host Jake Tapper asked the vice president-elect if she would take the vaccine, to which she responded, “Of course I would.”
“But we also want to make sure that the American people know that we are committed,” she continued. “The president-elect and I talked about this all the time, but the people who need it most are going to be a priority.”
Harris said she would take the vaccine if Anthony Fauci — the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert — approved it, echoing the sentiment she expressed during the vice presidential debate against Vice President Pence. During the debate she also stated, “If Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it.”
Tapper then directed the same question to Biden, asking if he would take the vaccine in public before the inauguration, noting that his predecessors had in the past similarly indicated that they would publicly take vaccines.
“I’d be happy to do that when Dr. Fauci says we have a vaccine that is safe. That’s the moment in which I will stand before the public,” said Biden. “People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work already. The numbers are really staggeringly low and [it matters] what the president, the vice president do.
“Once it’s declared to be safe … then obviously, it’s important to communicate to the American people it’s safe. It’s safe to do this,” said Biden.
Biden and Harris confirmed that they have met with Fauci, with Biden mentioning his chief of staff Ron Klain’s pre-existing relationship with Fauci. Klain worked with Fauci as Ebola czar during the Obama administration.
Biden said, “My COVID team met with him. I asked him to stay on the exact same role he’s had for the past several presidents. And I asked him to be a chief medical advisor for me, as well, and be part of the COVID team.”
Fauci has stated that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by the end of December or the beginning of January. The U.K. this week became the first country to authorize Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine with immunizations expected to be sent out some time next week.