One week after President-elect Joe Biden was vaccinated on live TV, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna. She got the vaccine at United Medical Center in Washington DC on Dec. 29, and you can hear her say with certainty, "Let's do it!" while rolling up her sleeve.
"It's about saving your life, the life of your family members, and the life of your community."
Once vaccinated with that first dose, Harris stated that the process was easy and that she barely felt it. "I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. It is relatively painless. It happens really quickly. It is safe," she said. "It's 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."
Harris continued, "It's about saving your life, the life of your family members, and the life of your community." Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff, also received the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 29, and they will both get their second dose in one month.
So far, Moderna is one of two COVID-19 vaccines given emergency use authorization by the FDA in the United States. The first, from Pfizer and BioNTech, is what President-elect Biden received earlier in the month.
"Through the FDA's open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA," Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD, said upon Moderna's emergency approval, adding that the review process included input from independent scientific and public health experts and the FDA's career staff.
The most common side effects, according to Moderna's clinical trial data, were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, chills, joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes — particularly in the same arm as the injection — fever, and nausea and vomiting. These symptoms typically lasted several days and were experienced more so after the second dose as opposed to following the first.