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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, husband receive COVID-19 vaccine

By Don Jacobson
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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, husband receive COVID-19 vaccine
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris receives an initial dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday at United Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a Washington, D.C., hospital on Tuesday.

Harris received the first of two doses of the "messenger RNA" vaccine developed by Moderna in front of cameras at Washington's United Medical Center, as part of a collective effort by political leaders to build confidence for the vaccines among skeptical Americans.

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"That was easy," she exclaimed after receiving the shot.

"I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. This is literally about saving lives. I trust the scientists -- and it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine. So I urge everyone, when it is your turn, get vaccinated."

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Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, also received the vaccine Tuesday at Washington's only public hospital.

Harris particularly encouraged communities of color, which have been severely sickened by the coronavirus, to put aside fears or suspicions and get vaccinated.

Two mRNA vaccines have so far been approved for use in the United States -- Moderna's and another from Pfizer-BioNTech, both of which have proven to be about 95% effective with only mild side effects.

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A number of government leaders and lawmakers have also received an initial dose in recent weeks.

President-elect Joe Biden was inoculated last week. He and Harris staggered their vaccinations on advice from medical experts.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins also received theirs publicly last week. Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams were inoculated at the White House on Dec. 18.

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Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress have also received their vaccinations. President Donald Trump has not yet received the vaccine, most likely because health advice recommends that anyone who's been treated for COVID-19 should wait for 90 days before they are vaccinated.

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