US President-elect to get COVID vaccine as Moderna distribution begins

1 month ago
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US President-elect Joe Biden will be vaccinated against COVID-19 this week, as the country’s second approved jab is moved from warehouses to healthcare facilities.

Mr Biden will receive the vaccine on Monday, days after Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has not yet received the vaccination and has spent the week largely out of sight.

Mr Trump spent a number of days in hospital in October after testing positive for the virus and some experts have said that those given the same treatment as he received may be able to delay getting the vaccine for around 90 days after their treatment.

But some have been surprised that Mr Trump has not seized on the opportunity to publicly receive the jab as a way to claim some credit for its speedy development.

Mr Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this month that he was “not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look(ed) forward to doing so at the appropriate time”.

Meanwhile, the Moderna vaccine – the second to be approved in the US – is being moved to healthcare facilities across the US.

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The vaccination programme, which began when the first vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech was approved, is prioritising care home residents and healthcare workers.

Many industries want their workers classified as essential, which would mean them getting the vaccine sooner.

A proposal is before the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make frontline essential workers and people aged over 75 the next to receive the vaccine.

The proposal says there are around 30 million frontline essential workers – people such as teachers, food and agriculture workers, postal workers, public transport workers and people who work in grocery stores.

Non-frontline workers would include those in the media, finance, energy, and IT industries. They, along with those aged 65 to 74 and those with high-risk conditions aged 16 to 64, would then be next in line.

Vials of the Moderna vaccine have been filled at a facility in Bloomington, Indiana, and then moved to places including Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis, Tennessee, where they can be picked up by delivery services for wider distribution.

The first Moderna shot in the US is likely to be given on Monday and the US plans to deliver 5.9 million Moderna and two million Pfizer jabs during the week. It has not yet been revealed which vaccine will be given to Mr Biden.

Some 317,000 people have died with the virus in the US and the number of positive tests is approaching 18 million.

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