Trump rejects early Covid-19 vaccinations for White House staff

U.S. President Donald Trump responds to a question from a reporter after a medal ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the President said: “People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this change be made.

“I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but I look forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

In a statement to The Hill news website sent earlier on Sunday, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said: “Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations according to the continuity of government protocols established in executive policy.

“The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the US government on the advice of public health professionals and national security leadership.”

Trump’s remarks came a day before the first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will begin arriving in US states from Monday onwards.

On December 12, Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, had said that shipping companies UPS and FedEx would deliver the vaccine to nearly 150 state locations, Xinhua news agency reported.

On December 11, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued authorization for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine of American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, the first vaccine against the country’s disease.

The emergency use authorization allows the vaccine to be distributed in the country.

The FDA said the totality of the available data provides clear evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may effectively prevent the virus.

The US currently accounts for the world’s highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

In its latest update on Monday, the Johns Hopkins University revealed that the country’s overall caseload and death toll stood 16,246,771 and 299,163, respectively.

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