Mitch McConnell announced he will get a COVID-19 vaccine 'in the coming days,' as it is announced that Congress will be receiving a shipment of the vaccine

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GettyImages mitch mcconnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gives the thumbs-up to the media after the Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary on Capitol Hill on February 7, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The historic 51-50 vote was decided by a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he will receive the coronavirus vaccine "in the coming days" to boost public confidence in the shot.

  • "The only way to beat this pandemic is for us to follow the advice of our nation's health care professionals: get vaccinated and continue to follow CDC guidelines," McConnell said in the statement.

  • McConnell is the latest of a number of prominent politicians who are planning on receiving the vaccine to boost public confidence in the shot — including President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence, and former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he will receive the coronavirus shot "in the coming days" to demonstrate the vaccine's safety and efficacy.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last Friday for emergency use - the first vaccine to be greenlighted in the US.

Shipments of the vaccine rolled out overnight on Sunday to be administered to frontline healthcare workers, and a number of prominent figures are volunteering to publicly receive the shot to boost public confidence in its safety.

In a statement released Thursday, McConnell said he was eligible to get the vaccine "because of government continuity requirements."

Alongside frontline healthcare workers, Congress will also be among the first to get a shipment of the coronavirus vaccine, Politico reported.

"Vaccines for federal agencies and officials across Washington have been arriving at Walter Reed Medical Center in recent days," according to the Politico report, "and thousands of doses are expected to be designated for the House and Senate, though congressional leadership offices said they have no information to provide."

Capitol Physician Brian Monahan wrote in a letter to McConnell, obtained by Politico, that Capitol Hill will receive "a specific number of COVID 19 vaccine doses to meet longstanding requirements for continuity of government operations." It was not immediately clear what other members of Congress will also get the vaccine alongside McConnell.

"The small number of COVID 19 vaccines we will be provided reflects a fraction of the first tranche of vaccines as it is distributed throughout the country," Monahan continued, citing the Politico report.

McConnell said he was "disappointed to see early public sentiment that shows some hesitation towards receiving a vaccine," citing data from an AP-NORC poll showing that a quarter of American adults are unsure if they will receive the vaccine.

"The only way to beat this pandemic is for us to follow the advice of our nation's health care professionals: get vaccinated and continue to follow CDC guidelines," McConnell said in the statement.

A polio survivor, the Republican senator from Kentucky said he understands "both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring" but hopes that Americans will accept the vaccine.

"Even with a vaccine, I will continue following CDC guidelines by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing my hands frequently," McConnell said. "I would strongly encourage everyone to continue following these important guidelines. It is the only way we will defeat COVID-19 once and for all."

Read more: Secret Service experts are speculating in group chats about how Trump might be hauled out of the White House if he won't budge on Inauguration Day

McConnell is the latest of a number of prominent politicians who are planning on receiving the vaccine to boost public confidence in the shot that was produced in record timing.

Earlier this month, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton volunteered to publicly receive the vaccine to show the vaccine is safe. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence also followed suit earlier this week.

"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 Wednesday. "When I do it, I'll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done."

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