US vice president-elect Kamala Harris has first dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

‘I barely felt it,’ Ms Harris says

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US vice president-elect Kamala Harris received her Covid-19 vaccine live on TV on Tuesday and urged members of the public to have trust in the process.

Wearing a mask, Ms Harris received the first of her two Moderna vaccine shots at United Medical Centre in Washington.

The clinic is in a district of the city with a large African-American population, a community that has suffered disproportionately high levels of death and illness related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But polls have also indicated it is among the least willing to be immunised.

“I want to remind people that right in your community is where you can take the vaccine, where you will receive the vaccine by folks you may know,” she said after receiving a dose made by US company Moderna.

“I want to remind people that they have trusted sources of help and that’s where they will be able to go to get the vaccine.”

Ms Harris will become the first black and South Asian vice president when she takes office on January 20, as well as the first woman in the role.

Her husband Doug Emhoff was also to have the shot.

Public officials have been vaccinated before cameras as part of efforts to overcome public scepticism and convince doubters that the immunisation is crucial to returning to a semblance of normality in the months ahead.

President-elect Joe Biden was vaccinated live on television on December 21.

Departing President Donald Trump, who was admitted to hospital with the virus in October, has not committed to being immunised.

Mr Trump has repeatedly downplayed the severity of Covid-19 and urged businesses and schools to reopen despite a surge in infections nationwide.

The US has registered about 19.8 million cases and more than 343,000 deaths related to the virus, both the world’s highest, figures from Worldometer show.