McConnell, 78, added that he will get vaccinated because “of government continuity requirements.” He said he will continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask after he gets vaccinated.
Pelosi, 80, said in a statement: “With confidence in the vaccine and at the direction of the Attending Physician, I plan to receive the vaccine in the next few days.”
“Even with a vaccine, I will continue to follow CDC guidelines by continuing to wear a mask and take other science-based steps to stop the spread of the virus,” Pelosi added.
Congress will receive a limited batch of the coronavirus vaccine in the coming days, according to multiple sources.
The announcements come as Vice President Mike Pence and President-elect Joe Biden also plan to get vaccinated soon. Pence will take his shot publicly at the White House on Friday morning to boost public confidence in the vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized a vaccine developed by Pfizer for emergency use last week and is expected to authorize a second vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, on Friday. Still, many Americans are wavering over the vaccine, despite health experts’ insistence that it is safe. More than 25 percent of Americans are hesitant to take the vaccine, according to a study this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In his statement Thursday, McConnell expressed dismay at public doubt and urged Americans to get vaccinated as an act of civic responsibility.
“As a polio survivor, I know both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring. I truly hope all Kentuckians and Americans will heed this advice and accept this safe and effective vaccine,” he said in a statement.
Pelosi urged equitable distribution of the vaccine, adding: “We must all continue to embrace testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing and social distancing as the vaccine is being distributed.”