WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is set to receive a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus Friday, while President-elect Joe Biden is expected to be vaccinated as soon as next week.
Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will receive the vaccine at the White House. Pence’s office said they will get the shot “publicly” to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and “build confidence among the American people.”
The Pences will be joined by Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who will also receive the vaccine, Pence’s office said.
More: Biden says Fauci urged him to get COVID-19 vaccine, as White House mulls who should get it and when
A Biden transition official confirmed the former vice president’s potential timeline for the vaccine. CNN reported Biden is likely to be vaccinated early next week.
Vice-president Mike Pence addresses supporters at a campaign rally Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Their plans come after health care workers across the U.S. were the first to receive a shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Monday as COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationwide. More than 300,000 Americans have died from the virus.
More: A ‘magical’ moment: First COVID-19 vaccinations raise hopes on historic day marked by another grim milestone
President Donald Trump has not announced plans to take the vaccine, which the federal government intends to help distribute through Operation Warp Speed, the $10 billion effort to accelerate the production and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have said they are willing to get a coronavirus vaccine publicly – perhaps filming it – to prove the treatment is safe and effective.
Biden, who has also said he wants to take the vaccine publicly, told reporters Wednesday he doesn’t want to cut ahead of higher-priority recipients such as health care workers.
President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be a scaled-down event.
“We’re working on that right now. I don’t want to get to the head of the line,” Biden said Wednesday at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. “But I want to make sure that we want to demonstrate to the American people that it’s safe to take. They’re working on that right now. When I do it, I’ll do it publicly so you all can actually witness my getting it done.”
Trump, who contracted COVID-19 in October and was hospitalized for four days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, wants to see all Americans get the vaccine and plans to do so himself “as soon as his medical team determines it’s best,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Tuesday.
“His priority is front-line workers, those in long-term care facilities, and he wants to make sure that the vulnerable get access first,” McEnany said.
More: Former Presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush say they’d get a COVID-19 vaccine on camera to prove safety
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization for the vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, beating early estimates that a vaccine might not be ready for a year or more.
Large segments of Americans have expressed mistrust about a coronavirus vaccine. A Gallup poll released Dec. 8 found 63% of Americans would agree to take an FDA-approved vaccine to combat the virus, while 37% would not.
Contributing: Bart Jansen
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison. Reach Michael Collins on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mike Pence, Joe Biden to both be vaccinated for COVID-19 in coming days