Vice President Mike Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams received Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on camera Friday morning.
“I didn’t feel a thing, well done!” Pence said after getting the shot. The vaccine was the first of two doses that the officials must receive in order for the vaccine to be effective.
Several public officials have received the vaccine so far in order to boost public confidence.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both said that they will get the vaccine within days, and President-elect Joe Biden said that he will get it in a week or so, NPR reported.
“Karen and I were more than happy to step forward before this week was out, to take the safe and effective coronavirus vaccine, that we have secured and produced for the American people,” Pence said in a Friday morning speech. “It’s a truly inspiring day. As the people of this country witnessed this past week, under Operation Warp Speed, the first coronavirus vaccine is literally being administered in states across the country to millions of Americans.”
Public figures getting the vaccine on camera is part of an effort to boost confidence among Americans and encourage a higher percentage of people to get the vaccine once it becomes available to them. Thirty-seven percent of Americans were willing to get the vaccine right away, and the majority said that they were worried about potential side effects, according to a recent CivicScience poll.
Black Americans are more likely to be skeptical of the vaccine’s safety. A September poll conducted by the COVID Collaborative and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) found that only 14% of black and Latino respondents said that the vaccine would be safe and 18% said it would be effective. An Axios-Ipsos poll found that 26% of black people would get the vaccine as soon as it was available compared to 55% of white people and 54% of Hispanics.
The coronavirus vaccine will be administered first to frontline healthcare workers, the elderly and nursing home patients, high-risk patients, and essential workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation.