Harris received a dose of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna, as did her husband, Doug Emhoff, who received his vaccine out of public view. Biden and incoming First Lady Jill Biden received their photos days before Christmas. They received the other vaccine cleared by the FDA, jointly developed by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci also received Moderna vaccinations last week. The NIH was instrumental in the development of Moderna’s vaccine, and the upstart company plays a critical role in the United States’ early deployment strategy.
Both vaccines require two doses, spaced several weeks apart. A handful of additional candidate vaccines, including one that would require only one vaccine, are in the works and may seek emergency clearance early next year.
Harris’ vaccination comes as vaccine stocks remain relatively scarce and are largely restricted to frontline healthcare workers. However, Congress received vaccine allocations – primarily to keep the federal government going – and its attending physician informed lawmakers on Monday evening that a handful of staff in each member’s office would be eligible for the vaccines.
The Attending Physician’s Office note pointed out that the staffing is for employees whose jobs are “essential” to operations and involve face-to-face interactions or physical presence in Congress offices.