Kamala Harris Gets COVID-19 Vaccine: 'That Was Easy'

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is the latest elected official to publicly get vaccinated for COVID-19—a move meant to ensure public confidence in the newly-developed vaccines.

Harris, 56, got the first of the necessary two doses of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday at United Medical Center in Washington, D.C.—a week after President-elect Joe Biden, 78, got his first dose of the alternate Pfizer vaccine along with his wife, incoming first lady Jill Biden. Members of the Biden-Harris transition team have said the president-elect and vice president-elect's vaccines were intentionally spread out.

"That was easy," Harris said after getting her shot. "I barely felt it."

Both Biden and Harris will be on track get the second vaccine shot before being sworn into office on January 20.

Officials have been publicizing the multiple approved vaccines to build public confidence. Front-line workers, older people and people with other health issues that put them at added risk for severe complications from COVID-19 are being prioritized as the vaccine supply remains limited in the United States, where more than 335,000 people have died of the novel coronavirus in 2020. Harris' husband, incoming second gentleman Doug Emhoff, also was scheduled to receive the first vaccine dosage on Tuesday.

"I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine," Harris said. "Literally this is about saving lives. I trust the scientists."

Vice President Mike Pence, who has led the White House Coronavirus Task Force, was the first high-profile official to receive the vaccine in front of cameras alongside his wife, second lady Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams on December 18. Some state governors and several members of Congress also have gotten their first shots over the past two weeks, including Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

But Biden's team also has been publicly criticizing the Trump administration for not meeting initial expectations of available doses. Biden is expected to publicly address the shortage during public remarks Tuesday afternoon.

The Trump administration initially promised that Operation Warp Speed—its code name for the effort to fast-track the development of vaccines and treatments as the coronavirus pandemic raged—initially promised 100 million doses by year's end. That projection has been revised to 20 million.

President Donald Trump, 74, who tested positive for COVID-19 in October and was briefly hospitalized, hasn't said whether he will get the vaccine in front of cameras but has indicated through Twitter that he will get the shot at some point at his doctor's advice.

Kamala Harris
US Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 23, 2020. Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty