Biden gets vaccinated for COVID-19, tells people to follow suit

Biden gets vaccinated for COVID-19, tells people to follow suit

WASHINGTON: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine Monday, setting an example for others to follow while many Americans say they are unwilling to get the shot.

Biden is one of the first high-ranking U.S. officials to have publicly received a COVID-19 vaccine after the sitting vice president, Mike Pence, got his first dose on Friday, Yonhap news agency reported.

“I am doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared, when it’s available, to take the vaccine,” the president-elect said shortly after getting his shot at a clinic in Delaware.

“There is nothing to worry about. I am looking forward to the second shot,” he added.

Each recipient of COVID-19 vaccine must get two doses, three to four weeks apart.

The U.S. began administering COVID-19 vaccines after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the emergency use of a vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Dec. 4.

A second vaccine, developed by U.S. firm Moderna, was cleared by the FDA for emergency use on Friday.

Biden again highlighted the importance of people doing what they can to help stop the spread of the virus.

“It’s one thing to get the vaccine out…but it’s going to take time. And in the meantime, I hope people listen to all the experts…talking about the need to wear masks during this Christmas and new year’s holidays. Wear masks, socially distance and if you don’t have to travel, don’t travel,” he said.

He also reiterated the need for people to get vaccinated.

“It’s one thing to have vaccines show up at hospital. It’s another thing to get the vaccine from that phial, into a needle, into an arm,” said Biden, who is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The U.S. is one of the hardest-hit among advanced economies, with more than 18 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and over 321,000 deaths as of Monday.

— BERNAMA