Fauci, Azar to receive COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday
Top infectious diseases doctor Anthony Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other Trump administration health officials will receive the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday.
Along with Fauci and Azar, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, as well as front-line NIH medical workers, will receive a dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. The event will take place at the NIH in Bethesda, Md.
Fauci, who recently turned 80, has said would take the vaccine publicly as a way to build confidence. The U.S. needs at least 70 percent of the population to get vaccinated in order to stop the virus from being a threat.
“I’m ready to go,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” on Friday. “I’m going to get vaccinated as soon as I can. I hope that’s going to be within the next few days to the early part of next week.”
The NIH helped develop Moderna’s vaccine as part of the administration’s Operation Warp Speed. The initiative has invested more than $4 billion of taxpayer money to aid Moderna in the development and distribution of its vaccine.
Maryland said it has agreed to provide 2,300 doses from its initial allotment of the Moderna vaccine for front-line NIH health care workers, but it was not immediately clear if the shots used in Tuesday’s event would come from that supply.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Moderna’s vaccine late Friday, and it began shipping over the weekend. Operation Warp Speed plans to distribute 5.9 million doses across the country this week.
A growing number of political officials have already received the first of two doses of a coronavirus vaccine as part of “continuity of government” protocols, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).