Mike Pence and surgeon general receive Covid vaccine

The vice president said this week marked 'the beginning of the end of the pandemic’

Harriet Alexander
Friday 18 December 2020 17:17
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Mike Pence receives his Covid vaccination

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Mike Pence and the surgeon general, Jerome Adams, have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Washington DC.

“I didn’t feel a thing,” said Mr Pence. “Well done.”

He added: “Karen and I were more than happy to step forward and take this safe and effective vaccine.”

He said it was “an inspiring day” and called the vaccine “a medical miracle”.

“We have cut the time, but we have not cut corners,” he said.

Donald Trump, who was confirmed as having coronavirus on 1 October, was notable for his absence. Many health experts have called for him to be vaccinated publicly, to reassure the millions of people who believe in him.

He was in the White House on Friday, tweeting about the Russian hoax.

The vice president, in his remarks after being vaccinated, praised Mr Trump for leading Operation Warp Speed, which has planned for the distribution and administration of the vaccine.

He also thanked the members of the Coronavirus Taskforce, which he leads, and praised Dr Anthony Fauci, Dr Deborah Birx and the health secretary, Alex Azar.

“It’s important that every American remember all of us have a role to play,” he said.

"The way forwards is vigilance, and a vaccine.

"Continue to do your part; put your health and that of your neighbours first.

"As President Trump says, we are rounding the corner. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the light of American ingenuity and progress. People can be encouraged.

“These days of hardship and heartache will, in a day in the not too distant future, be in the past.”

Mr Adams said the work they had done had “been a marathon”.

"But, by golly, the end is in sight," he said.

He said that it was a priority of their team to work on improving trust in the vaccine, noting that it would not work if it remained in the vial.

“We have to engage trusted voices, faith leaders, tribal leaders,” he said. “When these gatekeepers are informed and confident, their communities will be confident.”

Mr Adams pointed out that many people of colour worked to developed the vaccine, and said he was aware of the symbolism of him, as a Black man, taking the vaccine publicly.

Dr Fauci told how, around a year ago, Dr Redfield, head of the CDC, rang him and said: “I think we have a problem.”

He said the vaccine was the result of “the marriage of extraordinary technology and the medical community, that has allowed us to do something truly unprecedented.”

He said the speed of the vaccine “was the result of extraordinary scientific advances, and did not compromise safety.”

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