US House Speaker Pelosi gets Covid-19 vaccine

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus by attending physician Brian Monahan at the Capitol.

Taking to Twitter on Friday, Pelosi said: “Today, with confidence in science and at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the Covid-19 vaccine.

“As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue mask wearing, social distancing and other science-based steps to save lives and crush the virus.”

The veteran Democrat also shared two photos of her getting vaccinated.

Shortly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also announced that he had also been vaccinated by Monahan.

“Just received the safe, effective Covid-19 vaccine following continuity-of-government protocols. Vaccines are how we beat this virus.

“Now back to continue fighting for a rescue package including a lot more money for distribution so more Americans can receive it as fast as possible,” he said on Twitter.

According to a memo from Monahan, all members of Congress will be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Also on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination on live TV, in a bid to instill confidence among Americans.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now being administered to millions of healthcare workers and in nursing homes, which have borne the maximum burden of the US outbreak.

For Moderna, the US FDA approval is a world first. For Pfizer, the US approval came after the UK and Canada authorised nationwide use.

Ongoing studies of the Moderna two-shot vaccine show more than 94 per cent effectiveness and strong protection among older adults.

The US government has ordered at least 200 million Moderna doses at a time when the country is getting hammered by the pandemic winter surge. Deaths in the US are at record highs, crossing 3,000 per day at a steady clip.

As of Saturday morning, the virus, which originated in China a year ago, has infected a total of 17,442,180 Americans and killed 313,246 others, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The two tallies are the highest in the world, making the US the hardest-hit country by the pandemic.