President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence are among a number of prominent political figures who will receive the coronavirus shot on television to boost public confidence in the vaccine

  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence are joining a number of other prominent political figures that will publicly receive the coronavirus shot to boost public confidence in its safety.
  • Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton also volunteered to get the vaccine on television as well.
  • The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week, and healthcare workers at the front lines across the country received the first doses of the vaccine this week.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A number of prominent political figures are getting the coronavirus shot on television in an effort to boost public confidence in the vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week, and first doses of the shot rolled out across the country overnight Sunday. Healthcare workers at the front lines were among the first to get the vaccine.

President-elect Joe Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, that he plans on publicly getting the shot to show Americans that it is safe to take. CNN reported that the president-elect could get the vaccine early next week.

“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden said. “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done.”

Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to get the coronavirus vaccine on camera Friday morning to help build “vaccine confidence,” Axios reported Wednesday. Second Lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will also join the vice president, according to the Axios report.

Biden and Pence are the latest to join a slew of politicians who are receiving the coronavirus vaccine to demonstrate its safety and efficacy. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton previously volunteered to receive the vaccine on television as well.

“President Clinton will definitely take a vaccine as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials,” Clinton press secretary Angel Urena told CNN earlier this month. “And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”

Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff, also told CNN that the former Republican president has been in touch with Fauci and White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx regarding the vaccine.

“A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” Ford said. “First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations.”

“Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”

During an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison, Obama said he “completely” trusts top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, and if Fauci “tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting COVID — absolutely, I’m going to take it.”

“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it,” Obama said. “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science, and what I don’t trust is getting COVID.”

He added: “If you are in that category, if you are elderly, if you’ve got a preexisting condition, if you’re a frontline worker, if you’re a medical worker, if you are in a grocery store, if you’re a first responder, you should take that vaccine,” he said.

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