A good show by the VP, who’s the head of the COVID task force and thus a natural candidate to lead by example here. I’m surprised Trump is willing to let him have this spotlight, though. Pence is going to get nice press for showing leadership and the clip of him being injected will be replayed endlessly on cable news. You’d think the president might covet that for himself.
Doesn’t matter which of them ends up doing it, so long as it’s done.
Hopefully Pence won’t catch too much flak from people complaining that he’s cutting the line at a moment when only medical personnel and nursing-home residents are supposed to be receiving the shot. The entire country has an interest in his health and he’ll do far more good in convincing skeptics to take it by subjecting himself to it now than he would by waiting his turn.
Vice President Mike Pence plans to receive his coronavirus vaccine shot on camera Friday morning at the White House to build “vaccine confidence” among the American people, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the plans.
Driving the news: Details are still being worked out, but Pence wants the TV networks to carry the moment live in the morning, the source said, to maximize the audience for the vaccination.
The vice president will be joined by second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams…
Adams plans to appear in a town hall later this week as part of his vaccine outreach to African Americans, the source added.
Including Adams in the event is smart given that he’s African-American and that group will need a little more convincing to get the shot. They should invite Ben Carson down from HUD to get it too. Having one of the country’s most respected black doctors demonstrate his faith in the vaccine can only add to the persuasion.
As for Biden, I continue not to understand why vaccinating the 78-year-old president-elect wasn’t an urgent national security priority on the first day the vaccine became available, but the wait is almost over. After having interacted with numerous people over the past few days in Georgia and at his HQ, he’s finally getting the shot next week:
“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 Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“When I do it, I’ll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done,” the President-elect said.
People familiar with the plans say Biden is likely to get his shot next week. The delay has not been borne out of hesitation, aides say, but rather logistics of administering the shot in a public setting.
I don’t know what that last part about “logistics” means. Send a medical team with the vaccine to his home, send CNN out with a camera crew, and do it in his backyard. Lickety split.
The nice thing about Biden getting the shot is that his age should make the example he’s setting extra influential, and not just with senior citizens. Seniors are already much more eager to get vaccinated than other age groups because of the special threat COVID poses to older people. They don’t need Sleepy Joe to show them it’s safe in order to get enthusiastic about being immunized from COVID. The people who might take an interest in Biden’s experience are those in younger age demographics who worry about side effects and want to “wait and see” before risking it. (According to ABC’s latest poll, there are more Americans in the “wait and see” group than the group that’s willing to get vaccinated immediately.) If you’re anxious about the vaccine, watching a 78-year-old get it and carry on as normal should go a ways further in persuading you that it’s safe than watching younger people in your community do so in April once access become widespread.
Speaking of widespread access, Politico is reporting something this afternoon that feels mildly miraculous. It’s the vaccine version of the loaves and fishes!
The Pfizer vials are supposed to hold five doses, but pharmacists have found they have enough for a sixth or even a seventh dose. Putting those into use could significantly increase the United States’ scarce early supply of the shot, reducing the likelihood of a “vaccine cliff” this spring as demand outpaces supply.
Manufacturers typically overfill vaccine vials to safeguard against spills and other waste, said Erin Fox, a pharmacy expert at University of Utah who monitors drug shortages. “It’s pretty unusual to have a full extra dose or more though — but it does seem to be there!” she said in an email.
But many pharmacists, left confused without federal clarity, threw away hundreds of extra doses since vaccinations began on Monday.
This afternoon the FDA gently informed pharmacists to use the extra f***ing doses instead of throwing them out, for cripes sake. With up to 40 percent extra in each vial, the feared shortage this spring might not be worrisome after all. There may be an extra 20-40 million shots in Pfizer’s initial supply of 100 million.
How confident are we that that’s a happy accident and not a case of Pfizer slyly filling a small supplemental order for the feds after Trump’s administration initially passed on ordering more than 100 million doses?
I’ll leave you with Chris Christie, who’s seen the light since his own terrible bout with COVID in October. He’s low priority for the vaccine as a survivor of the disease but he’s doing what he can to try to prevent others from being infected.
I am very happy today for this ad to start to run on TV across America. I urge all Americans to learn from my experience and to, please, wear a mask and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/DGmOValDJo
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) December 16, 2020