US Vice-President Mike Pence to receive vaccine


Mike Pence wears a mask (file photo)
Mike Pence wears a mask (file photo)

US Vice-President Mike Pence is to receive the coronavirus vaccine live on television later on Friday.

The White House said the aim of the move was to “promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people”.

Mr Pence’s wife and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will also receive the jab at the televised White House event.

On Monday the US began rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19.

The first three million doses of the vaccine are being distributed to locations across the 50 US states.

Meanwhile, a second vaccine, developed by Moderna, has come a step closer to receiving emergency approval after it was endorsed by a panel of experts.

More than 310,000 people have died with coronavirus in the US, which has recorded more infections and fatalities than any other country.

Mr Pence, 61, is due to receive the first of two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at 08:00 local time (13:00 GMT), along with his wife Karen and Mr Adams.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump reversed a plan for senior members of his administration to be among the first to receive the vaccine “unless specifically necessary”.

The president, who contracted coronavirus in October and recovered after hospital treatment, said he was not scheduled to take the jab but looked forward to doing so “at the appropriate time”.

Correspondents say large sections of his support base have doubts about the efficacy and safety of vaccines.

President-elect Joe Biden, who at 78 is in a high-risk group from Covid-19, is expected to be vaccinated next week.

He has set a goal of 100 million vaccinations, about a third of the US population, in the first 100 days after he takes office on 20 January.



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