Vice President Mike Pence along with his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams all received the newly approved first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that was televised live in an effort to boost the American public confidence that the vaccination is safe and effective.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Pence said in brief remarks after getting jabbed with the shot. “Well done. Make no mistake about it; it’s a medical miracle.”
Pence, who leads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, touted the success of the Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s efforts in developing and manufacturing a vaccine in a short amount of time, calling it a “miracle.”
“The average vaccine, I’m told by experts, usually takes between eight and 12 years to develop and manufacture and distribute,” Pence said. “But we’re on track here in the United States to administer millions of doses to the American people in less than one year. It is a miracle indeed.”
“Ever since I was asked by President Trump to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force, I have been inspired by the diligence and energy of our researchers in this country. I watched the historic pace with which the dedicated men and women at the FDA worked. But today, Karen and I wanted to step forward and take this vaccine to assure the American people that, while we cut red tape, we cut no corners. And thanks to Operation Warp Speed, thanks to incredible research companies, thanks to the great work at the National Institute of Health, and the great and careful work of the FDA, and the leadership of our president in Operation Warp Speed, the American people can be confident,” Pence added.
Adams spoke about the “importance of representation” in receiving the vaccine as a way to build trust within communities of color who are hesitant to get it.
“As an individual with asthma and high blood pressure, I am acutely aware of my own increased risk for Covid-19 exposure and the comorbidities that increase my risk of complications,” Adams said. “And as the US Surgeon General and a Black man, I am equally aware of the symbolic significance of my vaccination today.”
Blacks have expressed the highest skepticism compared to other race groups in their perception of whether the vaccine will be safe and effective once available. Despite being hit the hardest, the key reason Blacks have generally distrust in any type of vaccine that is rooted based on the nation’s history of racism in medical research. According to one of the largest and most rigorous survey to date conducted by Langer Research Associates in collaboration with NAACP and Unidos US found that only 14 percent of Black people trust that a vaccine will be safe, and 18 percent trust that it will be effective in shielding them from the coronavirus. Among Latinos, 34 percent trust its safety, and 40 percent trust its effectiveness.
President Trump has said he will take the vaccine but hasn’t revealed when he will take it. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday said the President is waiting for his medical team to “determines its best,” but his priority is to make sure frontline workers and the vulnerable population “get access first” to the vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s Covid vaccine last week for use in people 16 years of age and older. The U.S. rollout began Monday, with hospitals receiving the load and administration the vaccinations to frontline workers in ceremonies nationwide. The FDA is expected to authorize Moderna’s COVID vaccine this week, as well, bolstering the nation’s supply of doses.
The trio will receive the second dose as the vaccination is a two-dose series in 21 days, according to a speaker informing the step-by-step process to the group and the American public.