Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both received the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, and urged other lawmakers and Americans to do the same. The speaker said in a tweet on Friday that she had received the shot "with confidence in science & at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician."
"As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue mask wearing, social distancing & other science-based steps to save lives & crush the virus," Pelosi said.
"Just received the safe, effective COVID vaccine following continuity-of-government protocols. Vaccines are how we beat this virus," McConnell tweeted later on Friday afternoon.
Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had both said in statements on Thursday that they would receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days, and encouraged other lawmakers to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The U.S. Capitol attending physician has announced representatives and senators are eligible to receive a shot, and said that "there is no reason why [members of Congress] should defer receiving this vaccine."
"With confidence in the vaccine and at the direction of the Attending Physician, I plan to receive the vaccine in the next few days," Pelosi said in a statement on Thursday. She added that she will continue to follow CDC guidelines, and said "we must all continue to embrace testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing and social distancing as the vaccine is being distributed."
McConnell, who has had polio, highlighted the importance of receiving a vaccine in his own statement Thursday.
"As a polio survivor, I know both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring. I truly hope all Kentuckians and Americans will heed this advice and accept this safe and effective vaccine," McConnell said. "Because of government continuity requirements, I have been informed by the Office of the Attending Physician that I am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which I will accept in the coming days."
Vice President Mike Pence received a vaccine on live television Friday morning. It is unclear when President Trump, who had the coronavirus in October, will be vaccinated.
President-elect Joe Biden is also expected to receive the vaccine in the coming days.
A vaccine produced by Pfizer was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration last week, and health care workers and other priority recipients began receiving the vaccine on Monday. An advisory panel voted Thursday to recommend the FDA authorize Moderna's vaccine for emergency use as well.
First published on December 18, 2020 / 9:05 AM
© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.