President-elect Joe Biden received his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, three weeks after getting his first one with television cameras rolling in an attempt to reassure the American public that the inoculations are safe.
Biden got his first shot on Dec. 21. The virus has now killed more than 375,000 people in the United States — about 60,000 more than when the president-elect got his first round of vaccination — and continues to upend life around the globe.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a second shot about three weeks after the first vaccination. Another vaccine, this one produced by Moderna, requires a second shot about four weeks afterward. One-shot vaccines are still undergoing testing.
In comments to reporters after his shot, Biden said he has confidence in his COVID-19 medical team to hit ambitious vaccination rate targets after he takes office on Jan. 20. He also called the current rate of thousands of people dying daily because of the pandemic “beyond the pale.”
“The No. 1 priority is getting vaccines in people’s arms as rapidly as we can,” Biden said.
In other developments:
- The World Health Organization’s chief scientist has warned that even as numerous countries start rolling out vaccination programs to stop COVID-19, herd immunity is highly unlikely this year.
- Democratic New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman said Monday she has tested positive for COVID-19 and that she may have been exposed while sheltering at the U.S. Capitol during last Wednesday’s rioting.
- California has hit another grim coronavirus milestone: data from Johns Hopkins University showed the nation's most populous state has recorded more than 30,000 deaths since the pandemic started nearly a year ago.
- The U.K. has opened seven mass vaccination centers as it moves into the most perilous moment of the COVID-19 pandemic, with exhausted medical staff reeling under the pressure of packed hospitals and increasing admissions.
- Students attending Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest district in the U.S., are starting to return to classroom learning as doors open to thousands of pre-kindergarten and some special education students.
- Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first known cases among such primates.