Joe Biden will receive his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on live television Monday, in keeping with efforts by public officials to show Americans that such vaccines are safe. Also on Monday, the first injections of the Moderna vaccine will be given, raising new hope in a nation that has suffered more deaths and coronavirus cases than any other nation.
Covid-19 has killed at least 317,684 people in the US and infected nearly 17.9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. data. The same source recorded 189,099 new cases on Sunday and 1,509 deaths, both figures below last week’s all-time highs, but for weekend days, when numbers tend to drop.
the Covid monitoring project It said 113,633 people were hospitalized, another small drop. Hospital and intensive care capacity is under intense pressure in states across the country.
The first injections of the Moderna vaccine, which like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses but is easier to store, were packaged and shipped from Tennessee on Sunday.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure that we show the American people that it is safe to take,” the president-elect said. He and his wife, Jill, were also expected to thank the health workers at the facilities where they are beaten, their press secretary said.
Top American politicians, including Mike Pence, the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the Democratic House, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate, received doses on Friday, placing them among the first Americans to receive injections. By advertising their injections and showing no adverse reactions, they hope to stem a growing wave of skepticism about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, and her husband are ready to receive their first doses next week.
Such efforts to prove that inoculations are safe are becoming increasingly important, given recent data on American attitudes toward Covid-19 vaccines. While half of Americans said they would take the vaccine, according to a recent survey, a quarter of adults said no, while another quarter said they were unsure.
The experts have said that “herd immunity”, when the general population is largely immune because an important part of it is, will be seen when between 60% and 70% reach some level of immunity. Therefore, convincing more Americans that the vaccine is safe could have a dramatic impact on efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Notably absent from these public campaigns is Donald Trump. For the most part, he has remained out of the public eye as he continues to be enraged by his loss to Biden, and weighs ever further attempts to stay in power. Trump, who has expressed misinformation about the safety of vaccines, has not disclosed when he would receive his first dose.
In early December, Trump said on Twitter that he was “not scheduled” to receive it, but that he hoped “to do so at the right time.” White House officials have claimed that Trump is talking to his doctors about the timing.
In October, Trump was hospitalized for coronavirus. He attributed his rapid recovery to experimental monoclonal antibody treatment. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that people who received such treatment should not receive the vaccine for a minimum of 90 days, to avoid any possible interference.
“When the time is right, I am sure he will continue to accept it,” a White House spokesman, Brian Morgenstern, said Friday. “It’s something we are working on.”
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, gave a different explanation, telling reporters that part of Trump’s decision to wait was “to show Americans that our priority is the most vulnerable.
“The president wants to send a parallel message, which is, you know, the residents of our long-term care facilities and our front-line workers are of the utmost importance, and he wants to set an example in that regard.”
This position is at odds with other experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert.
“Even though the president himself was infected, and probably has antibodies that would probably be protective, we are not sure how long that protection will last. So to be doubly sure, I would recommend that you get vaccinated, ”Fauci told ABC.
Moncef Slaoui, who heads the federal vaccination program, told CNN that the vaccine was safe for people who have recovered from the coronavirus and presents stronger and possibly longer protection than a past infection.
“We know that infection does not induce a very strong immune response and it decreases over time,” he said. “So I think that, as a clear precaution, it is appropriate to get vaccinated because it is safe. I think people should get vaccinated, actually. “
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