President Trump has disavowed reports that White House staff will be among the first to receive Covid-19 vaccine jabs, saying that “unless specifically necessary” they will be vaccinated “somewhat later in the program.”
The first wave of Pfizer vaccine inoculations across the US is supposed to be limited to frontline health care specialists and people in high-risk categories, such as the elderly, but the New York Times reported on Sunday that White House staff working close to Trump will cut in line.
According to President Donald Trump, however, he personally requested an “adjustment” to the timeline, so that neither he nor his staffers receive the jab ahead of those who need it more.
“People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary… I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”
However, Trump’s apparent attempt to reassure Americans that his Operation Warp Speed is totally fair and impartial fell flat, as he was not only spammed by his usual critics, but also by vaccine skeptics, who see the move as a sign there is ‘something wrong’ with the vaccine.
On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the vaccine, and with the green light from the CDC coming on Sunday, the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine can officially be administered to US citizens.
The first batch of shots began shipping on Sunday from a plant in Portage, Michigan, with the vials arriving in about 600 locations in the coming days.
Despite the spike in reported hospitalizations and total Covid-19-attributed deaths nearing 300,000 across the US, large swathes of Americans, concerned about possible long-term health risks, remain reluctant to receive any of the first-generation coronavirus inoculations, recent polling shows. While 47 percent of respondents said they planned to get the shot, 53 percent of those surveyed were either not sure whether they would get vaccinated, or adamant that they would not.
Following the FDA and CDC officials, the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, attempted to reassure skeptics, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to urge the public to “hit the reset button on whatever they think they knew about this vaccine that caused them to be so skeptical.”