Obama, Bush and Clinton say they’ll publicly take Covid vaccines amid wavering US trust

Former presidents want to raise confidence in American health system and in vaccination against disease

epa08859436 (FILE) - Former US Presidents Bill Clinton (L), George W. Bush (C) and Barack Obama during opening ceremonies for the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, 28 September 2017 (reissued 03 December 2020). According to media reports, the three former presidents will volunteer to get a Covid-19 vaccination publicly in order to promote the safety of the upcoming coronavirus vaccine.  EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT *** Local Caption *** 53796188

Former US presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton say they will be publicly immunised for Covid-19 as a sign of their trust that any approved vaccine is safe.

"I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science and what I don't trust is getting Covid," Mr Obama told SiriusXM radio.

The US Food and Drug Administration has still not approved a vaccine but the agency review of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine could be completed by December 10, and Moderna's by December 17.

I trust this science, and what I don't trust is getting Covid.

CNN said the former presidents hoped to raise national awareness and create trust in the US health system while encouraging Americans to vaccinate.

"People like Anthony Fauci, who I know and I've worked with, I trust completely," Mr Obama said of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director.

"So if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe and can vaccinate – you know, immunise you from getting Covid, absolutely I'm going to take it."

He said he would be publicly vaccinated after first responders and vulnerable people received their shots.

Fifty-eight per cent of Americans surveyed by Gallup say they would receive a Covid-19 vaccine if one were approved today.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is concerned about the slow process of the FDA's approval for a Covid-19 vaccine, AP reported.

The possibility of a rushed approval before a vaccine was ready worries Americans, with a poll by Axios/Ispos showing those who are willing to be immunised are most concerned about safety and efficiency.