WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence on Friday morning sought to reassure Americans about coronavirus vaccines by getting inoculated himself on live television.

What You Need To Know

  • Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams all received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine live on television Friday morning

  • The event was aimed at boosting public confidence in coronavirus vaccines

  • Pence said it was a “miracle” that a vaccine was developed in less than a year and that history will remember this week as the beginning of the end of the pandemic

  • He, however, added that with cases and hospitalizations rising, the U.S. still has "a ways to go"

The vice president, along with second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, received the shots, administered by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center medical staff at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House.

Before receiving the shots, the three high-profile political figures were asked questions, such as whether they were feeling any symptoms or had any serious reactions to previous vaccines, just as anyone receiving the shot will be asked. 

Adams went first, quickly giving a thumb’s up afterward. He was followed by Karen Pence, then the vice president.

The medical staff then reminded the Pences and Adams that it is a two-dose vaccine that will require an additional shot in 21 days, and warned them that they might feel soreness at the injection site and asked them to contact a medical professional if they experience any other problems. 

“I didn’t feel a thing,” Pence said in his remarks just after receiving the vaccine. 

“As the Christmas holiday approaches, this is always a season of hope,” Pence said. “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. It’s a truly inspiring day.”

Pence, who chairs the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said it was a “miracle” that a vaccine was developed in less than a year.

“I also believe that history will record that this week was the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic,” the vice president said. “But with cases rising across the country, with hospitalizations rising across the country, we have a ways to go.”

He added that “vigilance and the vaccine is our way through.”

Polls show public trust in COVID-19 vaccines is on the rise. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week found that 71% of Americans are willing to take a free and safe coronavirus vaccine, an increase of eight percentage points from three months ago.

The Food and Drug Administration last week approved a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use. That vaccine, which is the one the Pences and Adams received Friday, began to be rolled out this week to health care workers and nursing-home residents. 

The FDA is expected to authorize a second vaccine, created by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, as early as Friday. An FDA advisory panel voted Thursday to recommend approval of the vaccine. 

To date, more than 17.2 million Americans have been infected by the virus, and more than 310,000 have succumbed to it. On Wednesday, the U.S. set records for new daily cases (247,403) and deaths (3,656), according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.