US Vice President Pence to get Covid vaccine Friday: W.House

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Vice President Mike Pence will take the Covid vaccine in public, the White House says

US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will get the Covid-19 vaccine Friday in a public display designed to boost national confidence, the White House announced Wednesday.

Pence and his wife Karen Pence "will publicly receive a Covid-19 vaccine to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people," the White House said in a statement.

The event, due to be held at the White House, comes in the first week of a mass vaccination program aimed at stopping the surging coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed more than 300,000 Americans.

In addition to the Pences, the vaccine will be administered at the same time to Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the lead public health official in the country.

The public display illustrates the seriousness of the challenges facing the authorities not only in distributing vaccines across the huge country, but overcoming sceptism after months of mixed messaging from President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Trump is also "absolutely open to taking the vaccine."

However, since he recently recovered from a bout of Covid-19, he is thought to be currently immune.

"He will receive the vaccine as soon as his medical team determines it’s best. But his priority is frontline workers, those in long-term care facilities," McEnany said.

President-elect Joe Biden, who won election in November after a campaign heavily critical of Trump's leadership during the pandemic, says he intends to take the vaccine in public soon.

At 78, Biden is in a prime risk category for the disease.

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