Trump recommends COVID-19 vaccine

Trump told Fox News in a 20-minute telephone interview Tuesday, "I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it." He continued by saying, "It's a great vaccine, it's a safe vaccine, and it's something that works."

Before leaving the White House, Trump and then-first lady Melania Trump received the vaccine but never disclosed that fact publicly.

Americans have been urged to get the vaccine to slow the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as it becomes available to them.

The United States has administered 113,037,627 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 147,590,615 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The tally is for Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the agency said.

According to the tally posted on March 16, the agency had administered 110,737,856 doses of the vaccines and distributed 142,918,525 doses.

The agency said 73,669,956 people had received at least one dose, while 39,989,196 people were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

A total of 7,585,936 vaccine doses have been administered in long-term care facilities, the agency said.

U.S. officials plan to use data gathered from people who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as data from ongoing clinical trials to determine when and whether current vaccines need to be updated to address viral variants.

Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a hearing on Wednesday that his agency has already started getting data on vaccine safety from surveillance systems.

Those systems have been set up to gather reports of vaccine side effects from individuals and physicians and are managed in partnership with the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA is also working with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to mine data in health information systems to look for possible safety signals.

Marks told a hearing of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce that his agency has already begun to receive data on vaccine safety.

He said the FDA intends to use these surveillance systems to determine whether vaccines continue to be effective in the presence of new variants of the coronavirus, especially those that may be capable of evading protection from vaccines.

Marks told the panel he expects to start receiving data on whether vaccines are continuing to work within the next few months. He is also continuing to monitor clinical trials for signs of vaccine failure.

Large numbers of breakthrough infections in which vaccinated people get COVID-19 would suggest that booster shots - using the same or a retooled vaccine targeting specific variants - are needed.

Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc have announced they have begun work on vaccines to address variants should they be needed.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; additional reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Editing by Franklin Paul and Aurora Ellis)

Trump told Fox News in a 20-minute telephone interview Tuesday, "I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it." He continued by saying, "It's a great vaccine, it's a safe vaccine, and it's something that works."

Before leaving the White House, Trump and then-first lady Melania Trump received the vaccine but never disclosed that fact publicly.

Americans have been urged to get the vaccine to slow the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as it becomes available to them.

The United States has administered 113,037,627 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 147,590,615 doses, the U.S.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The tally is for Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the agency said.

According to the tally posted on March 16, the agency had administered 110,737,856 doses of the vaccines and distributed 142,918,525 doses.

The agency said 73,669,956 people had received at least one dose, while 39,989,196 people were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

A total of 7,585,936 vaccine doses have been administered in long-term care facilities, the agency said.

U.S. officials plan to use data gathered from people who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as data from ongoing clinical trials to determine when and whether current vaccines need to be updated to address viral variants.

Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a hearing on Wednesday that his agency has already started getting data on vaccine safety from surveillance systems.

Those systems have been set up to gather reports of vaccine side effects from individuals and physicians and are managed in partnership with the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA is also working with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to mine data in health information systems to look for possible safety signals.

Marks told a hearing of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce that his agency has already begun to receive data on vaccine safety.

He said the FDA intends to use these surveillance systems to determine whether vaccines continue to be effective in the presence of new variants of the coronavirus, especially those that may be capable of evading protection from vaccines.

Marks told the panel he expects to start receiving data on whether vaccines are continuing to work within the next few months. He is also continuing to monitor clinical trials for signs of vaccine failure.

Large numbers of breakthrough infections in which vaccinated people get COVID-19 would suggest that booster shots - using the same or a retooled vaccine targeting specific variants - are needed.

Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc have announced they have begun work on vaccines to address variants should they be needed.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; additional reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Editing by Franklin Paul and Aurora Ellis)