Capitol staff to get more coronavirus vaccine doses

Capitol staff to get more coronavirus vaccine doses
© Greg Nash

Congress is receiving an additional 8,000 coronavirus vaccine doses that will be divided equally to the House and Senate to be administered to staffers in each chamber.

Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, said in a letter to lawmakers and staff obtained by The Hill that Republican and Democratic House members will receive six doses per office and House committees will receive an additional 16 doses to be given equally among staffers of each party.

The distribution of the shots will start Wednesday.

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Monahan added that other work centers will be “assigned and vary by individual chambers.”

Members of Congress were eligible for the vaccines as early as January as “essential workers,” though not enough vaccines were made available for lawmakers’ staffs. Until now, each House member was allocated enough doses for two staffers. 

It was not immediately clear how the vaccines would be distributed in the Senate.

The House and Senate are being provided with vaccines either from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. Both shots require two doses for full effectiveness, though the Moderna shots “will be preferentially administered first to prevent loss of doses due to expiration.”

“Both, Emergency Use [Food and Drug Administration]-Authorized, vaccines are highly effective and suitable for all recipients,” Monahan wrote. “I urge you to receive the first available vaccine at the earliest opportunity.”

“If not already pursued, Staff are strongly encouraged to complete a full SARS-CoV2 vaccination course at the earliest possible opportunity regardless of recovery from prior coronavirus illness,” he added.

The additional doses come as the vaccine effort has ramped up across the country in recent weeks, with more than 110 million shots being administered thus far.

Biden administration officials and lawmakers have touted the need for as many people to get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent variants of the coronavirus from infecting people and spreading even further than they already have.

Certain individuals, such as front-line health care workers and seniors, are currently being prioritized for vaccinations, but President BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE is ordering states to make all adults eligible to get a shot by May 1. Alaska and Mississippi have already lifted their eligibility requirements.