US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Th entire process was broadcast live as officials seek to reassure the American people about the safe nature of the new vaccine.
"Today, I received the COVID-19 vaccine. To the scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to make this possible — thank you. We owe you an awful lot. And to the American people — know there is nothing to worry about. When the vaccine is available, I urge you to take it," Biden summed up in a tweet, sharing a photo of himself receiving the shot.
The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is a two-dose mRNA-based offering that had shown an efficacy rate of 95% after the conclusion of phase three trials. As such, Biden will have to take a second follow-up shot after 21 days.
It is the first vaccine to be made available to people in various countries across the world. Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorization for two vaccines. After Pfizer at the beginning of this month, it has also provided emergency use authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine "to be distributed in the US for use in individuals 18 years of age and older".
A nurse practitioner at ChristianaCare hospital in Delaware administered the first dose of the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNtech to Biden on Monday afternoon. "Left's good," he told the nurse practitioner who administered the vaccine, rolling up the sleeve of his black long-sleeve turtleneck and exposing his left arm. "You just go ahead anytime you're ready."
Alongside scientists and researchers, Biden also reportedly credited the Trump administration for its work on Operation Warp Speed. "The administration deserves some credit getting this off the ground," he was quoted as saying.
The President-elect becomes the latest in a series of high profile politicians to take the vaccine recently. Vice President Mike Pence received it publicly at a White House event Friday while other members of Congress have also received doses. President Trump has not yet been vaccinated.