(CNN) — U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine early next week, CNN learned. Biden plans to get vaccinated in public.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I want to make sure that I show the American people that it is safe to get vaccinated,” Biden told reporters Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“When I do, I will do it publicly, so that everyone can witness how I do it,” said the president-elect.
People familiar with the plans say Biden is likely to get his shot next week. The delay is not due to hesitation, attendees say, but because of the logistics of giving the injection in a public setting.
Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper earlier this month that he would be “happy” to get a coronavirus vaccine once Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said it was safe. He added that he would receive the injection in a public place to show his confidence in her. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also said in the interview that she would receive the vaccine.
Fauci said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he is convinced that Biden and Harris should get vaccinated “as soon as possible.”
Three former presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – have said they would publicly receive the coronavirus vaccine as a way to demonstrate its safety and efficacy.
Trump administration officials have discussed how and when President Donald Trump might receive a coronavirus vaccine, but have not yet made a final decision on scheduling his vaccine, a person familiar with the plan previously told CNN.
The US began injecting the coronavirus vaccine
Healthcare workers, who are on the front lines of the pandemic, received the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech this Monday. Last week, the vaccine was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use. The first doses were delivered to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Vaccine advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to get vaccinated. It will likely take months before the vaccine is widely available to the rest of the population.
The FDA is also considering an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s candidate vaccine.
Biden has said his administration would aim to distribute 100 million vaccine injections, enough to cover 50 million people, in his first 100 days in office. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses administered several weeks apart to be 95% effective.
The president-elect has also pledged to sign a mandate for mandatory mask use on his first day in office (he will ask Americans to wear a mask for their first 100 days) and has said he is also prioritizing efforts to that children return to school safely.
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