Washington, Dec 21 (efe-epa).- President-elect Joe Biden on Monday received a Covid-19 vaccination in public in an attempt to build confidence among Americans about its safety.
“There’s nothing to worry about,” said Biden before television cameras after receiving the first dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech at the ChristianaCare Hospital in Newark, Delaware, the state where he lives.
A nurse administered the inoculation to the president-elect, who was wearing a black facemask and a dark turtleneck sweater during the procedure.
Biden, 78, was accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden, who received her first dose of the two-stage vaccination earlier in the day, the president-elect said.
“There is great hope. I am doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine,” Biden said, adding: “There’s nothing to worry about.”
In his brief remarks after receiving the vaccine, the president-elect thanked scientists and health care workers for their ongoing efforts during the pandemic, saying that the American people owed them a great deal.
He acknowledged the efforts of the administration of Donald Trump to push for the accelerated development of the vaccine.
“I think that the administration deserves some credit in getting this off the ground, Operation Warp Speed,” Biden said.
Warp Speed is the operation launched by the US government, in collaboration with the Pentagon, to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacture and distribution of vaccines against Covid-19.
On Friday, outgoing Vice President Mike Pence and leaders of Congress, including Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, received injections of the Pfizer vaccine.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is due to receive her first inoculation next week, according to reports.
The White House has not revealed whether Trump, who contracted Covid-19 last October and recovered after doctors administered an experimental antibody cocktail to him, will receive an inoculation.
Biden also urged Americans to heed the recommendations of experts, warning that if people don’t have to travel, then don’t do so, and adding that the country is still going through the “worst” of the pandemic.
The US on Monday in a number of spots around the country began administering the vaccine developed by Moderna, the second to receive fast track authorization for public use after Pfizer’s vaccine.
The US has been the country hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 17.9 million confirmed cases and more than 318,000 deaths, according to the ongoing independent tally being kept by The Johns Hopkins University.