Trump and wife quietly received Covid vaccines while other leaders went public

Other US leaders were vaccinated on camera to boost public confidence

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 20, 2021 outgoing US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump descend Marine One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were vaccinated against the coronavirus in January before leaving the White House, an advisor to the former president said on March 1, 2021. / AFP / ALEX EDELMAN

Former president Donald Trump privately received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine while still in office in January, aides say, as other public officials took shots on-camera to boost public confidence.

Mr Trump and his wife, Melania, have now received both doses of vaccine, an aide said. The vaccinations were first reported by The New York Times.

At the time there were only two authorised vaccines in the US – one made by Pfizer-BioNTech and the other by Moderna – each of which is administered in two doses.

On Saturday a third, single-dose vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, was authorised for use.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s booster shot is given at least 21 days after the first injection, while Moderna’s two shots are recommended to be administered 28 days apart.

It is unclear clear if January was the first or second dose for the Trumps.

If it was the first and they adhered to the schedule, the former president and his wife would have received their second shots after leaving the White House.

Former vice president Mike Pence received his first dose on December 18, while President Joe Biden received his on December 21.

Both did so on camera.

Mr Trump spent months pinning his coronavirus strategy to vaccine development, but stopped short of a campaign for people to be inoculated.

He gave his first plea on Sunday during a speech in Florida.

“Everybody go get your shot,” Mr Trump said.

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