Vice President Mike Pence will receive the coronavirus vaccine by Friday, sources close to him told CNN on Tuesday. The insiders said that Pence might even receive the vaccine on camera, in the hopes of inspiring public confidence in the drug. So far, there are still no concrete plans for President Donald Trump to be inoculated.
Pence may get the COVID-19 vaccine before Trump does, judging by the reports coming out of the White House. Insiders said that Pence would be getting the drug soon, in no small part because he and his team hope it will help reassure anxious Americans that the drug has been thoroughly tested and is safe to take. The vaccine was developed in Germany by the companies Pfizer and BioNTech and comes in two doses to keep the novel coronavirus at bay. Dr. Anthony Fauci has suggested that Trump, Pence, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris get vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Vice President Mike Pence will likely receive the vaccine by Friday, per two people. https://t.co/5lK79aCDKC— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 15, 2020
The vaccine faces obstacles when it comes to manufacturing, distribution and administration, but it also has an uphill battle for public trust. An alarming number of Americans polled have said that they do not want to take the treatment, in many cases because anti-vaccination conspiracy theories on social media have misled them. Public figures like Trump and Pence can go a long way in helping to assuage these anxieties.
Reporters asked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany why Trump was not taking the vaccine to set an example, and she responded: Because he also wants to show Americans that our priority are the most vulnerable." Health care workers and nursing home patients will be the first to get the vaccine in most states.
"[Trump] is absolutely open to taking the vaccine. He's been emphatic about that to me privately and to you all publicly," McEnany said. "But he did recently recover from COVID. He has the continued protective effects of the monoclonal antibody cocktail that I mentioned, and he will receive the vaccine as soon as his medical team determines it's best. But his priority is frontline workers, those in long term care facilities, and he wants to make sure that the vulnerable get access first."
Fauci appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday, saying that the president needed to be vaccinated early. He noted: "Even though the President himself was infected and he has likely antibodies that likely would be protective, we're not sure how long that protection lasts." Some patients around the world have already contracted COVID-19 twice after surviving it in the spring.
"I would recommend that he get vaccinated, as well as the vice president," Fauci said. So far, the White House has not confirmed plans for Biden to take the vaccine this week.