Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, received inoculations Friday for Covid-19 on live national television, and Dr. Anthony Fauci said he hopes to get vaccinated next week.
"I didn't feel a thing," Pence said after receiving the shot. "Make no mistake about it; it's a medical miracle."
At the same event, Surgeon General Jerome Adams also rolled up his sleeve and got the vaccination. The couple and the surgeon general were wearing masks.
Minutes earlier, Fauci told NBC's "TODAY" he is looking to get vaccinated next week.
"I'm ready to go," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told NBC's Savannah Guthrie. "I'm going to get vaccinated as soon as I can. I hope that's going to be within the next few days to the early part of next week."
Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence receive Covid vaccineSquawk Box
Fauci previously said he will get vaccinated in public to encourage vaccine uptake, as polls show a large portion of Americans are hesitant to get vaccinated. Only about half of Americans say they want a shot, while a quarter aren't sure they will get one and an additional quarter say they won't get one, according to an Associated Press-Norc Poll published last week.
Fauci said he's waiting for the National Institutes of Health to receive their allocation of the vaccine before he gets his shot. The agency's shipment of vaccine is expected to arrive next week, he said.
US Vice President Mike Pence receives the COVID-19 vaccine in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, December 18, 2020.Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
The Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer's Covid vaccine last week for use in people 16 years of age and older. The U.S. rollout began Monday, with hospitals marking the first vaccinations in ceremonies nationwide. The FDA is expected to authorize Moderna's Covid vaccine this week, as well, bolstering the nation's supply of doses.
It's a "bittersweet" moment, Fauci said Friday.
"We're sitting here talking about vaccines, which is such a positive thing," he said. "But all of this is sort of bittersweet, because at the same time as we're moving ahead with what will ultimately be the answer in the final solution to this, we're living through very, very difficult times."
As the U.S. rolls out the vaccine, the country continues to report harrowing numbers of daily new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The country reported more than 233,200 new infections Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and more than 3,200 deaths.
Based on a seven day average, the U.S. is recording more than 2,600 deaths caused by Covid every day, up more about 16% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data.
Fauci says hope is that by the time we're several months into 2021 we can start thinking about return to normalityNews Videos