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VP Pence Hails COVID-19 Vaccine As 'Medical Miracle' As He Gets His Shot On Camera

Confidence in vaccines has been suffering in America for years, thanks in large part to a roundly debunked "study" that linked the MMR vaccine to autism, a study later retracted by the journal that published it and that got its author kicked off the British medical register.

Despite the lengths that have been taken to show that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, including a Danish study that involved more than 650,000 participants, anti-vaccine rhetoric remains stubborn and troublesome.

And with a new, necessary vaccine rolling out, battling hesitancy around vaccines will be just as important as any of the efforts to try to stamp out the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all.

That's what brought Vice-President Mike Pence before the cameras Friday morning.

Along with Second Lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Pence received a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on television to boost confidence in its safety.

The whole process of getting vaccinated — the dose administered by medical staff from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — was quick, with all three receiving their doses in less than three minutes.

In remarks, Pence called attention to the incredible efforts of researchers to develop and produce the vaccines in such a short period of time.

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Calling the vaccine a "medical miracle," Pence noted that a more typical time frame for developing, manufacturing, and distributing a vaccine is eight to 12 years. Before COVID-19, the fastest a vaccine has been developed and produced was four years.

"But we're on track here in the United States to administer millions of doses to the American people in less than one year. It is a miracle indeed."

Pence also re-assured those watching that the vaccine is both safe and effective.

"Karen and I wanted to step forward and take this vaccine to assure the American people that while we cut red tape, we cut no corners," he said.

"Thanks to the great work at the National Institutes of Health, and the great and careful work of the FDA and the leadership of our president and Operation Warp Speed, the American people can be confident we have one, and, perhaps within hours, two safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for you and for your family," Pence added, referring to the Moderna vaccine's pending approval status with the FDA.

Adams also spoke and specifically drew attention to the distrust for vaccines in minority communities due to the Tuskegee experiment.

The infamous Tuskegee experiment misled 600 Black men in a study of syphilis, in which those with the disease were given only a placebo rather than a treatment even after one had been developed. It destroyed trust of public health officials and vaccines in the Black community for decades — that distrust lingers to this day.

"To truly promote confidence in these vaccines, we must start by acknowledging this history of mistreatment and exploitation of minorities by the medical community and the government," Adams said at the event, according to CNN. "But then we need to explain and demonstrate all that had been done to correct and address these wrongs."

While it's still unclear whether President Trump will receive the vaccine, President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris have said they will.

They have both indicated that they will do so publicly as well, although when they will receive their vaccinations has yet to be determined.

"I don't want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take," Biden told reporters, according to NBC News.

h/t: CNN, NBC News

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