Biden plans to get COVID-19 vaccination publicly as early as next week

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to publicly receive the COVID-19 vaccine “as soon as next week,” a transition team source confirmed to The Hill. 

CNN first reported the news Wednesday, citing people familiar with the plans, and added that aides said the delay of the public shot had been due to the logistics of administering it in public, rather than hesitation to get the vaccine. 

Biden told reporters on Wednesday in Wilmington, Del., that he would get the vaccine publicly to bolster public confidence. 

“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden said. “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done.” 

This comes after Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper earlier this month that he would be “happy to” receive a coronavirus vaccine in a public setting following approval from the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also said in the interview that she would get the vaccine.

During an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday, Fauci said that Biden and President Trump should be “vaccinated as soon as we possibly can.” 

Trump has championed the vaccine, but over the weekend said he was reversing plans for some high-level White House staffers to receive early access to doses, while signaling he himself would wait to receive the vaccine. 

Vice President Pence’s office announced that he will be publicly vaccinated at the White House Friday, along with second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams. 

Other top political figures have signaled their intention to receive the vaccine in order to build public confidence, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Former Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama have all said they would publicly get the coronavirus vaccine as a way to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.

Health care workers received the first doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine Monday after it received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week. 

Final trial data showed Pfizer’s vaccine, which requires two doses administered several weeks apart, to be 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19. 

The vaccine candidate developed by Moderna, which has a similar efficacy rate, is also being considered for FDA emergency use approval this week. 

Al Weaver contributed to this report.

Tags Anthony Fauci Barack Obama Bill Clinton BioNTech coronavirus covid-19 coronavirus vaccine Donald Trump George W. Bush Jake Tapper Jerome Adams Joe Biden Karen Pence Mike Pence Mitch McConnell Moderna Pfizer White House

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