Harris receives coronavirus vaccine on camera, urges Americans to get vaccinated

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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, becoming the latest high-level official to do so on camera in order to instill public trust.

“It is relatively painless. It happens really quickly. It is safe,” Harris, wearing a black face mask, said in brief remarks after receiving the vaccine, encouraging Americans to get it.

“Literally, this is about saving lives,” she continued. “I trust the scientists, and it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine.” 

Harris received a dose of the Moderna vaccine from clinical nurse Patricia Cummings at United Medical Center, which is located in Southeast Washington, D.C. The medical center serves residents of Wards 7 and 8, which represent the largest population of African American residents of D.C.

Asked by a reporter whether she was receiving the vaccine in a predominantly Black community of D.C. in order to dispel mistrust of the vaccine, Harris said she did so to show people they have “trusted sources of health” in their community where they can go to receive the vaccine.

“I want to remind people that right in your community is where you can take the vaccine, where you will receive the vaccine, by folks you may know, folks who otherwise are working in the same hospital where you children were born, folks who are working in the same hospital where an elderly relative received the kind of care that needed,” Harris said.

Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, also received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday, she said.

Several political leaders from both parties have received vaccinations since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the first emergency use authorization to the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech on Dec. 12. A number have done so publicly in order to instill confidence in the vaccine and demonstrate to Americans that it is safe.

Vice President Pence received the vaccine publicly a week after it received approval and President-elect Joe Biden did so the following week, as did top health officials like Anthony Fauci and Health and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

President Trump has indicated he plans to receive the vaccine but no plans have been announced for him to get his first dose. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said earlier this month he would receive the vaccine when his doctors recommend it.

Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on the coronavirus pandemic later Tuesday afternoon, which are expected to touch in part on the vaccine distribution process.

Two vaccines, one produced by Pfizer and the other Moderna, have been approved and are currently circulating in the United States. Novavax on Monday announced it would begin a phase three trial of its vaccine, making it the fifth company to reach late-stage trials in the United States.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden Public Southeast UMC Vaccine vice president

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