US President-elect Joe Biden has received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, saying he was getting the jab to show Americans it is “safe to take”.
Biden joins a growing number of political leaders getting the shot, including Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine,” Biden said live on television from his home in Delaware. “There’s nothing to worry about.”
He said the Trump administration “deserves some credit” for launching the country’s vaccine program.
Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, received her first dose earlier in the day, the president-elect said.
His running mate, vice-president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband are expected to receive their first shots next week.
Around three million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been shipped and more than 500,000 Americans have been vaccinated so far, according to the Reuters.
The Biden team has set a goal of 100 million Covid-19 vaccinations across the US during the administration’s first 100 days in the White House.
President Donald Trump, who spent three days in hospital with Covid-19 in October, has not said when he intends to get the vaccine.
“I am not scheduled to take the vaccine but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time,” Trump tweeted in December.
Some of his advisers have defended him waiting, saying he is still protected by the treatment he received to beat the virus.
On Sunday, distribution of the Moderna vaccine which was approved last week began in the country too, with some six million vaccine doses available for immediate shipment.