America’s Leaders Get Vaccinated
Joe Biden got the shot yesterday. Anthony Fauci gets it today. Even Republicans who spoke out against public health measures rushed to get it. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), says she won't because it is "shameful" that politicians get it before people on the front lines.
'There's Nothing To Worry About,' Biden Says As He Receives COVID-19 Vaccine
President-elect Joe Biden publicly received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday as the death toll from the disease nears 320,000 in the United States. Rolling up his sleeve at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., Biden told nurse practitioner Tabe Mase, "I'm ready!" and thanked her for her work with COVID-19 patients. "We owe you big, we really do," Biden said. Biden said his wife, Jill, also received her first vaccine shot Monday. (Sprunt and Wise, 12/21)
Fauci, Azar To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Tuesday
Top infectious diseases doctor Anthony Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other Trump administration health officials will receive the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday. Along with Fauci and Azar, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, as well as front-line NIH medical workers, will receive a dose of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine. The event will take place at the NIH in Bethesda, Md. (Weixel, 12/21)
Fauci Tells Kids Not To Worry, He Gave Santa Claus The Covid-19 Vaccine
Worried children can rest easy after the nation’s leading infectious disease expert assured them on Saturday that Santa Claus has gotten a Covid-19 vaccine. ... “Will Santa still be able to visit me in coronavirus this season?” 6-year-old Paxton from Illinois asked. “What if he can’t go to anyone’s house or near his reindeer?” Fauci assured good children that he wouldn’t let them be disappointed after making the nice list in a very tough year. The coronavirus expert anticipated Santa’s essential worker status and took matters into his own hands. “I took a trip up there to the North Pole,” Fauci said. “I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go. ... Santa Claus is good to go.” (Madhani, 12/20)
Republican Lawmakers Who Downplayed Coronavirus Concerns Face Backlash Over Early Vaccinations
A slate of GOP lawmakers who downplayed different concerns about the coronavirus pandemic or ignored public health advice are now facing a wave of backlash for being among the first to receive a vaccine. With only limited doses available across the US, members of Congress have been prioritized for inoculation in an effort to maintain governmental continuity on Capitol Hill. (LeBlanc, 12/21)
Ilhan Omar Says She Won't Get Vaccine: 'People Who Need It Most, Should Get It'
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) broke with other members of "the squad" on Monday by deciding to not get a coronavirus vaccine available to members of Congress, saying it was “shameful” that political leaders got the vaccine due to their “importance.” (Choi, 12/21)
In updates on allergic reactions —
NIH Seeking Individuals For Study On Severe Allergic Reactions To Pfizer Vaccine
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is searching for participants in a study of rare but severe allergic reactions to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Daniel Rotrosen, director of the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post that researchers need people who have a history of severe anaphylaxis. (Mastrangelo, 12/21)
Vaccine Injury Claims Could Face Bureaucratic 'Black Hole'
Lost in the U.S. launch of the coronavirus vaccine is a fact most don’t know when they roll up their sleeves: In rare cases of serious illness from the shots, the injured are blocked from suing and steered instead to an obscure federal bureaucracy with a record of seldom paying claims. Housed in a nondescript building in a Washington, D.C., suburb, the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program has just four employees and few hallmarks of an ordinary court. Decisions are made in secret by government officials, claimants can’t appeal to a judge and payments in most death cases are capped at $370,376. (Condon and Sedensky, 12/22)