President Donald Trump will encourage Americans to take the coronavirus vaccine though it isn’t clear when he’ll receive it, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
“The president currently at this moment has said he is absolutely open to taking the vaccine,” McEnany said Tuesday at a briefing for reporters. “He will receive the vaccine as soon as his medical team determines it’s best.”
McEnany said certain career White House and national security advisers would receive the vaccine to help ensure continuity of government, while a select number of senior administration officials would also get vaccinated publicly to instill confidence in the shots.
Trump wants to send a “parallel message” that the vaccine is safe and that front-line workers and long-term care residents should be first in line to receive it, McEnany said.
McEnany said the president is still protected by antibodies from his Covid-19 infection in October. Asked whether Trump would receive the vaccine before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, she declined to say.
Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising across the country, increasing pressure to get the pathogen under control. While health officials are hopeful that the immunization push will begin to slow a pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 Americans, it isn’t yet known what effect the vaccines have on transmission of the disease.
McEnany said about 2.9 million doses of the vaccine fromPfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE that have been distributed and another 4 million will be shipped on Friday. She added that 6 million ofModerna Inc.’s vaccine could be sent out next week if U.S. regulators clear it as safe and effective.
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