‘OK, let’s do it,’ she said, as registered nurse Patricia Cummings of the United Medical Center readied the needle. ‘That was easy. Thank you. I barely felt it. I barely felt it.’
Harris had traveled across the Anacostia River to a medical center in Southeast, Washington, D.C. – the home of many minority communities.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at United Medical Center in Southeast Washington, D.C. on Tuesday
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (left) gets the vaccine from nurse Patricia Cummings at a medical center across the Anacostia River in D.C., the home of many minority communities
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris waves to reporters in the room Tuesday before receiving her first shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Just over 50 per cent of the hospital’s employees have agreed to take the vaccine, accounting for about 500 D.C. healthcare workers, Chief Medical Officer Dr. William Strudwick told the press pool in the room.
Harris was asked by a reporter in the room if she received her vaccine here by design in order to ‘dispel fears and mistrust in the minority community.’
‘I’m in Anacostia today because, first of all, we have phenomenal healthcare providers like nurse Patricia, who serve our community and we have hospitals and medical centers and clinics like this all over the country who are staffed by people who understand the community, who often come from the community, and who administer all year trusted healthcare,’ Harris answered.
‘And so I want to remind people that right in your community is where you can take the vaccine, where you will receive the vaccine,’ she continued.
Harris called the quick shot ‘relatively painless’ and told those in the room that her husband, Doug Emhoff, would be administered the Moderna vaccine later Tuesday.
‘And literally this is about saving lives,’ she said. ‘I trust the scientists and it is the scientists who created and approved the vaccine.’
President Donald Trump and Republicans jumped on Harris during the presidential campaign for saying that if ‘Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it’ about a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines were green-lit for use by the U.S. government after the November 3 presidential election.
Trump knocked Harris for her ‘anti-vaccine rhetoric.’
Harris, like President-elect Joe Biden, expressed confidence in a vaccine if medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, backed it.
Fauci has already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
‘I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,’ Harris, more broadly, said about the president’s track record during the pandemic in early September.
Harris added that she feared experts would be ‘muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days, and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he’s been a leader on this issue when he’s not.’
The president was enraged when Pfizer released data that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine worked less than a week after the election, which he lost to Biden, but continues to refuse to concede.
Registered Nurse Patricia Cummings gave Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday
Biden received the Pfizer vaccine in Delaware on December 21.
His wife, Dr. Jill Biden, received her shot earlier in the day.
The president-elect suggested she didn’t do it on-camera because she’s not a fan of needles.
‘There’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking forward to the second shot,’ he told reporters in the room. ‘So is Jill. She’s had her shot earlier today. She loves shots, I know,’ Biden said.
Health experts had told Biden and Harris to get their vaccinations a week apart, in case either incoming leader experienced side effects.
President Donald Trump, who had COVID-19 in October, has yet to receive the vaccine.
Instead, Vice President Mike Pence became the top member of the administration to be vaccinated against the coronavirus when he did so alongside Surgeon General Jerome Adams on December 18.
Adams, who is black, talked about the importance of getting the vaccine publicly, hoping that members of minority communities, who have been disproportionately killed by COVID-19, would follow suit.
Members of Congress have also had the vaccine made available to them.
GOP lawmakers including Sens. Joni Ernst, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham have been criticized for taking the vaccine after refusing to speak up when Trump has politicized masking and social distancing.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is 31 and the youngest Democrat in Congress, also took heat for getting the vaccine early and before most of the nation’s medical workers, because she does not belong to a high-risk group.