More than one million Americans have received a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Of the 9.4 million-plus vaccines distributed, roughly one million have been administered, the CDC reported on Wednesday, CDC Director Robert Redfield noting that “supply will increase in the weeks and months to come.”
According to the agency, the tally includes both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which high profile figures — including Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — began to receive this week.
However, there has been significant disagreement among younger members of Congress, some of whom do not believe it is appropriate to receive the vaccine before the more vulnerable members of the population.
“It would makes [sic] sense if it was age, but unfortunately it’s of importance and its shameful. We are not more important then [sic] frontline workers, teachers etc. who are making sacrifices everyday [sic]. Which is why I won’t take it. People who need it most, should get it. Full stop,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said:
It would makes sense if it was age, but unfortunately it’s of importance and its shameful.
We are not more important then frontline workers, teachers etc. who are making sacrifices everyday.
Which is why I won’t take it.
People who need it most, should get it.
Full stop. https://t.co/JQgMftm5wX
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 20, 2020
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also said it would be “inappropriate” for him — someone who recovered from the virus earlier this year — to receive the vaccine before the elderly or healthcare workers.
“Same goes for AOC or any young healthy person. They should be among last, not first,” he continued:
I was asked about getting vaccinated with others in Congress:
It is inappropriate for me – who has already gotten the virus/has immunity – to get in front of elderly/healthcare workers.
Same goes for AOC or any young healthy person. They should be among last, not first.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 21, 2020
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is among lawmakers who received the vaccine, posting a video of her experience to social media and attributing her ability to receive it to a “national security policy.”
Fauci predicted this week that the U.S. may reach “very close to a degree of normality” by next fall but emphasized that this is dependent on getting the “overwhelming majority” of the population vaccinated.