WASHINGTON – On Friday at 8 a.m., Vice President Mike Pence will roll up his sleeve for the coronavirus vaccine, a televised symbol of reassurance for vaccine skeptics concerned about its dangers. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to get his syringe on camera next week.
Notably, all of the planned public trials lack President Trump, who said relatively little about the vaccine, which can be viewed as a unique feat, and made it clear that he shouldn’t take it himself.
The vaccine may give a glimmer of hope at a time when the growing coronavirus is regularly killing around 3,000 Americans every day. However, the message of the top officials in the Trump administration about the virus remains jumbled and often contradicting as they continue to alternate between reality and trying to dictate another.
Mr. Pence, who will receive his first shot and will encourage Americans to follow suit nearly six months before the day of its publication a comment in the Wall Street Journal With the title “There is no coronavirus” Second Wave “held a Christmas party this week in his residence, at which the guests mingled in an outdoor tent and, according to the participants, posed for pictures without a mask.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quarantined after exposing someone who tested positive for the coronavirus after hosting a number of large indoor holiday celebrations at the State Department and attending a private party on Saturday to celebrate the annual football game of the Army and Navy to see. Only one unofficial adviser to the president has held a public mea culpa over his past disregard for public health guidelines: Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, who on Wednesday published a television advertisement Urging Americans who do not wear a mask to learn from their own harrowing medical experience and wear one.
The president, who has recovered from his own struggle with the virus after being treated with experimental drugs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, is described by aides and allies as preoccupied with election results that he still does not accept, and has shown no interest in participating in any kind of health message.
Even in private conversations, she said, Mr. Trump rarely brings up the vaccine, which White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany this week called a “medical miracle” for which the president deserved credit as an “innovator”.
Instead, Mr. Trump focused on his efforts to reverse the election results and was consumed by his anger at Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who this week finally congratulated Mr. Biden on his victory, saying, “The electoral college has spoken. “And he remains frustrated that the vaccine wasn’t available before election day, said people who spoke to him.
But the president is also aware that a large part of his political base consists of supporters who refuse to wear masks and so-called anti-Vaxxers who are suspected of the Covid-19 vaccine. After months of positioning himself to public health experts, according to those familiar with his thinking, Mr Trump said at some level that he didn’t want to end up being viewed as compliant to the advice of the same people he belittled.
Some supporters with large online followers have even criticized him in the past few days for promoting the vaccine in the first place. “You know, Trump, 80 percent of your base probably doesn’t want that vaccine,” DeAnna Lorraine, a QAnon conspiracy theorist with a large following on Infowars, said on her program last week. “I don’t care who takes it. I don’t care if Jesus takes it. I don’t take the vaccine.”
With Mr Trump hesitating, lawmakers and Supreme Court justices are expected to receive vaccines in the coming days, although doses will be limited. Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Capitol doctor, wrote to lawmakers Thursday that he had been informed by the National Security Council that his office would be receiving “a certain number” of doses to “ensure the continuity of government operations.” He told lawmakers they could start scheduling appointments for vaccination and eventually suggested that some “staff who are essential to continuity” could also be given doses.
“My recommendation to you is absolutely clear: there is no reason why you should postpone receiving this vaccine,” wrote Dr. Monahan. “The benefits far outweigh any small risk.”
With a coronavirus vaccine spreading out of the US, here are answers to some questions you may be wondering about:
- If I live in the US, when can I get the vaccine? While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary from state to state, most doctors and residents of long-term care facilities will come first. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help.
- When can I get back to normal life after the vaccination? Life will not return to normal until society as a whole receives enough protection against the coronavirus. Once countries approve a vaccine, they can only vaccinate a few percent of their citizens in the first few months. The unvaccinated majority remain susceptible to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show robust protection against disease. However, it is also possible for people to spread the virus without knowing they are infected because they have mild or no symptoms. Scientists don’t yet know whether the vaccines will also block the transmission of the coronavirus. Even vaccinated people have to wear masks for the time being, avoid the crowds indoors and so on. Once enough people are vaccinated, it becomes very difficult for the coronavirus to find people at risk to become infected. Depending on how quickly we as a society achieve this goal, life could approach a normal state in autumn 2021.
- Do I still have to wear a mask after the vaccination? Yeah, but not forever. Here’s why. The coronavirus vaccines are injected deep into the muscles and stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. This seems to be sufficient protection to prevent the vaccinated person from getting sick. However, it is unclear whether the virus can bloom and sneeze or exhale in the nose to infect others, even if antibodies have been mobilized elsewhere in the body to prevent the vaccinated person from getting sick. The vaccine clinical trials were designed to determine whether people who were vaccinated are protected from disease – not to find out whether they can still spread the coronavirus. Based on studies of flu vaccines and even patients infected with Covid-19, researchers have reason to hope that people who are vaccinated will not spread the virus, but more research is needed. In the meantime, everyone – including those who have been vaccinated – must imagine themselves as possible silent shakers and continue to wear a mask. Read more here.
- Will it hurt What are the side effects? The vaccine against Pfizer and BioNTech, like other typical vaccines, is delivered as a shot in the arm. The injection in your arm feels no different than any other vaccine, but the rate of short-lived side effects seems to be higher than with the flu shot. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported serious health problems. The side effects, which can be similar to symptoms of Covid-19, last about a day and are more likely to occur after the second dose. Early reports from vaccine trials suggest that some people may need to take a day off because they feel lousy after receiving the second dose. In the Pfizer study, around half developed fatigue. Other side effects occurred in at least 25 to 33 percent of patients, sometimes more, including headache, chills, and muscle pain. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign that your own immune system is having a strong response to the vaccine that provides lasting immunity.
- Will mRNA vaccines change my genes? No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to boost the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slide inside. The cell uses the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus that can stimulate the immune system. At any given point in time, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules that they produce to make their own proteins. As soon as these proteins are made, our cells use special enzymes to break down the mRNA. The mRNA molecules that our cells make can only survive for a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to withstand the cell’s enzymes a little longer, so the cells can make extra viral proteins and trigger a stronger immune response. However, the mRNA can hold for a few days at most before it is destroyed.
Public health officials were delighted that the Vice President would be publicly vaccinated along with Surgeon General Jerome Adams, although the President himself had no interest in sending a similar public health message.
“It’s the right thing,” said Dr. Vinay Gupta, Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Washington. “The question is, why don’t they do it together, six feet apart? It would be really powerful for the president, who has received exceptional treatment, to say that despite the best of care, it is important that I get this vaccine.”
Dr. Gupta said Mr Trump’s decision not to get vaccinated could undermine the confidence Mr Pence could instill in presidential-only skeptics.
“The fact that he isn’t getting it makes you wonder if you’re worried,” said Dr. Gupta. He also said that the mixed up government news – welcoming the vaccine while hosting holiday celebrations – runs the risk of “giving the American people false assurances that the vaccine is here and that vigilance is no longer required”.
White House officials said Mr Trump does not need to be vaccinated as he still has the protective effects of the monoclonal antibody cocktail he was treated with for the virus in October. Dr. However, Gupta said that this was a misinterpretation of the results and that “there is no scientific reason not to get vaccinated”.
The first lady, Melania Trump, who tested positive for the virus in October and attributed her recovery to a “vitamin and healthy diet” regime. also has no plans to publicly obtain the vaccine. A spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, declined to say whether Ms. Trump would be vaccinated.
Mr Trump said Sunday that he would postpone a plan for senior White House officials to receive the coronavirus vaccine in the coming days, hours after the New York Times reported that the government plans to get the vaccine to theirs quickly Distribute employees.
“I have no plans to take the vaccine,” added Trump, “but I look forward to doing so in due course.”
But many White House officials are excited about the vaccine, even though the president has made it clear that he wants them to wait.
Walter Reed’s doctors set up vaccination stations in the Indian contract room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building this week. There they began vaccinating staff who were seen as critical to the functioning of the government: this included members of the secret service, some medical workers and other support workers who work near Mr Trump.
But Mr Trump made it clear that he doesn’t like the look of the West Wing aides receiving the vaccine, and the White House declined to say exactly who exactly was receiving the vaccine. The number of doses they received was classified, an official said.
“His priority is front line workers in long-term care facilities and he wants to make sure the vulnerable get access first,” Ms. McEnany said this week. When it came to staff in the west wing, she added, “It will be a very limited group of people who will have access to it initially.”
Mr Pence refused to receive the vaccine the first day it was available to him, despite pressure from aides wanting him to do so quickly and publicly – and before Mr Biden held his own public event. Mr Pence, those familiar with his thinking said, was concerned about the look of the jump when he wanted the administration to recognize the distribution of an effective vaccine to frontline medical workers without the distraction.
Instead, Mr Pence decided to postpone his own vaccination until Friday when his office asked all the television stations to bring him live.
Lara Jakes and Nicholas Fandos Contribution to reporting.