Administration

Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour

Vice President Harris on Monday touted the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine on the first stop of her tour to convince skeptical Americans to get the shot.

"The vaccines - let me say it again - are safe. They are safe. And they are free. And they are effective. And it is that simple. If you are vaccinated, you are protected. If your community is vaccinated, COVID rates in your community will go down," Harris said in Greenville, S.C.

Harris said, in her remarks at a COVID-19 vaccination mobilization event at the Phillis Wheatley Community Center, that misinformation is a major barrier to getting more Americans to take the vaccine. 

"I know there are folks out there who aren't saying they won't get the vaccine, what they're saying is they're just not sure. A lot of it has to do with the misinformation or maybe the lack of correct information. And so people may question the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine. They may have heard things that aren't quite true," she said.

Harris is set to tour a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at the YMCA of Greenville and later participate in a conversation on voting rights with community leaders while in South Carolina. 

"The vaccines have gone through FDA clinical trials. Why do we do that? To test, to ensure that they are safe to use and the FDA has said they are safe to use. They went through the trials and they passed," the vice president said, referring to the Food and Drug Administration.

The White House has kicked off a one-month campaign to ramp up vaccine efforts, focusing on Southern states where vaccine rates are lower. Harris is set to visit Atlanta this week and other officials, including second gentleman Doug Emhoff, are also traveling this week for the tour. 

The administration is working toward reaching its goal of 70 percent of U.S. adults vaccinated by July 4. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked on Sunday if she is concerned about reaching the July 4 goal.

"At this point, what the government can do is we can provide the resources, we can incentivize, we can provide the funding, the vaccine supply and work with states and localities to do everything we can - and in the private sector - to incentivize people to get shots in their arms. It is ultimately up to individuals to do that," she said.

Roughly 44 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated and 53 percent have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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