Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received a COVID-19 shot on live television Tuesday, as the incoming Biden administration sought to boost confidence in the new vaccines even while warning it will be months before they are available to all.
Harris, a native Californian, is the second high-profile person from an ethnic minority background to receive the vaccine after Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Dec. 18.
Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has said he will make the fight against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 19 million Americans and killed over 334,000, his top priority. He received his first injected dose of the vaccine live on television last week. Two doses are required for full protection.
The Biden team has put particular emphasis on the importance of encouraging vaccine distribution and inoculation in non-white groups especially hard hit by the coronavirus.
Harris received the Moderna vaccine from a nurse wearing a mask and a face visor at a medical center in predominately black southeast Washington. “I barely felt it,” Harris said, laughing, after receiving the injection in her upper left arm.
“I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine — it is relatively painless … it is safe … it’s literally about saving lives. I trust the scientists,” she said.
Biden and his team have warned the vaccine will take time to roll out to the general population and urged people to listen to the advice of medical experts to avoid infection by the coronavirus in the interim.