Vice President Mike Pence hailed the COVID-19 vaccine as "a medical miracle" shortly after getting his first shot on live-television. President Donald Trump was absent from the event aimed at reassuring Americans the immunization is safe. (Dec. 18)
MIKE PENCE: Well, good morning. And thank you all for being here.
I especially want to thank the fine medical team at Walter Reed Hospital that administered our vaccine today. I didn't feel a thing. Well, done. And we appreciate your service to the country.
You know, as the Christmas holiday approaches, this is always a season of hope. We gather here today, at the end of a historic week, to affirm to the American people that hope is on the way. And Karen and I were more than happy to step forward before this week was out to take this safe and effective coronavirus vaccine that we have secured and produced for the American people.
And I also believe that history will record that this week was the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. But with cases rising across the country, with hospitalizations rising across the country, we have a ways to go. And I want to assure the American people that we're going to continue to make sure that our health care providers have all the support and resources they need to meet this moment. But vigilance and the vaccine is our way through, and building confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning.
Yesterday, the FDA advisory panel recommended approval of the Moderna vaccine. And when it is approved-- we expect later today-- we'll be in a position to ship 5.9 million doses of vaccines all across the country next week. In fact, under Operation Warp Speed, we are poised to have vaccine for 20 million Americans before the end of December. It is truly a medical miracle and an inspiration to people across this country.
- Vice President, wouldn't it be important for the president to be here?
- Who will get the--