Vice President Mike Pence will publicly receive a Covid-19 vaccine on Friday while President-elect Joe Biden is expected to get a shot as soon as next week.
Pence, who is the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is hoping to “promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
His wife, Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will also receive the vaccine at Friday’s event, set to take place at the White House.
Biden meanwhile is expected to receive the vaccine as soon as next week, a transition official tells NBC News.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden told reporters earlier Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware. “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly so you can all witness my getting it done.”
The decision to receive the vaccine in public marks a critical moment in the fight against Covid-19 as health care officials battle skepticism by some about the safety of the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to be used for emergency use this month as the country is still deep in the pandemic, with case numbers rising around the country.
It is unclear when and how President Trump will receive the vaccine. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Tuesday that Trump would do so when his doctors recommended. Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October and may still have antibodies to protect him from being re-infected. Trump has not committed to taking the vaccine publicly.