WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, telling Americans seconds after getting the shot "there's nothing to worry about."
Biden received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at ChristianaCare Hospital. The shot was administered by Tabe Masa, a nurse practitioner and head of employee health services at the hospital. Biden held up his sleeve as he received the shot in his left arm and did not visibly react as he received his jab.
Seconds after he received the shot, Biden, wearing a face mask, said his fellow Americans had nothing to fear in receiving the vaccine.
"I'm doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared, when it's available, to take the vaccine," Biden said. "There's nothing to worry about. I'm looking forward to the second shot."
Biden also praised President Donald Trump for his administration's efforts in helping accelerate the process of bringing Covid-19 vaccines to Americans.
"I think the administration deserves some credit getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed," Biden said.
"This give us great hope," he said.
Bien's wife, Dr. Jill Biden received her first dose of the vaccination earlier Monday, the transition said.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are expected to receive the vaccine next week.
Biden joins a growing list of prominent lawmakers who have received the first dose of the he Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., all received a vaccination Friday.
Pence received his Covid-19 vaccine in a televised appearance Friday morning in an effort to promote its safety and boost public confidence in its effectiveness.
Trump, who contracted the coronavirus in October and was treated at the time with experimental monoclonal antibodies, has not said whether he will receive a vaccine. He has said he looks forward to getting the vaccine "at the appropriate time."
The lawmakers received the vaccine just days after the first shipments were delivered to health care facilities across the country and given to front-line workers and nursing home residents.
Their shots also comes as the U.S. has set records this week for daily coronavirus cases and deaths. The disease caused by the coronavirus has killed more than 318,000 people and infected nearly 18 million in the U.S. alone.
In other transition news:
- President Donald Trump has no public events. Vice President Pence is scheduled to lead a teleconference with higher education chancellors and presidents and will later head a coronavirus task force meeting Monday afternoon.
- Congress reached an agreement on a nearly $900 billion Covid-19 relief package Sunday evening which includes direct payments of up to $600 a person based on income and an extra $300 for unemployment insurance a week. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the legislation Monday.
- Biden hopes that Susan Rice, his pick to lead the Domestic Policy Council, will elevate the low-profile White House group.
- The fate of the 2020 U.S. census is up in the air as the deadline to finalize the count approaches and experts are skeptical that the government can produce accurate numbers of the country under such tight constraints.