White House staffers working close to President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE will be among the first to receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine, a White House official confirmed.
The news was first reported by The New York Times.
"Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to continuity of government protocols established in executive policy. The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the United States government on the advice of public health professionals and national security leadership," National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a statement to The Hill.
Another White House official said in a statement that providing the officials with a coronavirus vaccine "will further ensure that the United States Government will continue essential operations, without interruption, for our citizens as continue to fight this pandemic and work toward a return to prosperity for our Nation."
Two sources told The New York Times that the White House hopes to stop more government officials from contracting the coronavirus, beginning with the most senior staffers closest to the 74-year-old president. The reported goal is to immunize all White House employees.
The Times noted in its report that although many White House staffers have said they would take the vaccine if offered, others have expressed concerns that it may look inappropriate to get vaccinated in order to protect the president, who has already contracted the virus.
Health officials have said the first doses would be limited to health care workers and those in high-risk categories such as the elderly.
The White House has gone through multiple waves of coronavirus cases, beginning with the outbreak that infected the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMcCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral GOP leader's remarks on Fox underscore Trump's power White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee MORE, followed by a second wave that affected members of Vice President Pence’s staff.
Chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsDemocrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled Report: Rally organizers say GOP lawmakers worked on Jan. 6 protests Three key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe MORE and various other advisers and campaign staff have also contracted the virus.
Most recently, top Trump ally and campaign attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiLev Parnas found guilty of breaking campaign finance laws Giuliani associate Lev Parnas won't testify at trial Four Seasons Total Landscaping comes full circle with MSNBC special MORE, 76, who has been leading the fight to overturn President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE's election victory, tested positive for the coronavirus. During his hospitalization, Giuliani said that he received some of the same experimental treatment the president received during his hospitalization due to COVID-19.
The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine left the Pfizer plant in Michigan on Sunday. More than 184,000 vials of the vaccine were in the shipment, with each vial containing five doses.
The order in which people receive the vaccine has largely been left to the discretion of state governments, with many still considering who will receive the next doses after health care workers and high-risk individuals are immunized.