IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Pence receives COVID-19 vaccine in televised appearance, hails 'medical miracle'

"While we cut red tape, we cut no corners," the vice president said, assuring the public it was safe and effective.

Vice President Mike Pence received the COVID-19 vaccine in a televised appearance Friday in an effort to promote its safety and boost public confidence in its effectiveness.

The Pfizer vaccine was also given to his wife, Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the the White House by a medical team from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"I didn't feel a thing. Well done," Pence said in remarks after receiving the shot in his left arm.

Pence called it a "medical miracle," saying that the average vaccine usually takes between eight to 12 years to develop, manufacture and distribute. "But we're on track here in the United States to administer millions of doses to the American people in less than one year. It is a miracle indeed," he said.

"Karen and I wanted to step forward and take this vaccine to assure the American people that while we cut red tape, we cut no corners," he said. "Thanks to the great work at the National Institute of Health, and the great and careful work of the FDA and the leadership of our president and Operation Warp Speed, the American people can be confident we have one, and perhaps within hours, two safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for you and for your family."

Doctors advised all three people that they must return in 21 days for the second dose of the vaccine and that they may feel some soreness around the injection site.

The White House said in a statement earlier this week that Pence, who leads the coronavirus task force, is hoping to "promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people."

It's unclear, meanwhile, if and when President Donald Trump will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Trump has said he looks forward to getting the vaccine "at the appropriate time." He and first lady Melania Trump recovered from COVID-19 in October.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to receive the vaccine as soon as next week, a transition official told NBC News.

"I don't want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take," Biden told reporters.

Pence is receiving the vaccine just days after the first shipments were delivered to health care facilities across the country and given to frontline workers and nursing home residents. It also comes as the U.S. has set records this week for daily coronavirus cases and deaths.

The disease caused by the coronavirus has killed more than 300,000 people and infected more than 16.3 million in the U.S. alone.

In other developments:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician on Capitol Hill and "with confidence in the vaccine," she is expected to receive it in the next few days.
  • The Attending Physician offered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the vaccine and told members of Congress not to wait to receive the vaccine. "My recommendation to you is absolutely unequivocal: there is no reason why you should defer receiving this vaccine. The benefit far exceeds any small risk."
  • The Carter Center said in a statement that former President Jimmy Carter "is looking forward to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to him." All of the other living former presidents, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have also said they plan to take it, too.

This article originally appeared on