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"It really was painless," the vice president said

By Sean Neumann
January 26, 2021 06:24 PM
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kamala harris
Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday afternoon at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Harris, 56, is now fully vaccinated along with President Joe Biden, who received his second and final dose of the vaccine earlier this month.

"When are you gonna put it in?" the vice president joked with Judy Lai Yee Chan, a nurse practitioner from the National Institutes of Health, who administered the shot in her upper left arm.

"It really was painless," Harris told the nurse, laughing after the shot was over.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, 56, also received his second dose of the vaccination on Tuesday, the White House said.

A pool of reporters were on hand with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, while the vice president received her final round of the vaccination.

Biden, 78, and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while Harris and Emhoff received the Moderna vaccine.

kamala harris
Vice President Kamala Harris (sitting)
kamala harris
Vice President Kamala Harris (sitting)

Harris told reporters on Tuesday that the vaccine "will save your life."

"I want to urge everyone to take the vaccine when it is your turn," she said.

Harris and Emhoff received their first round of the vaccine on Dec. 29, with Harris also taking her initial shot on camera in an effort to boost public confidence in the immunizations.

"It is relatively painless, it happens really quickly, it is safe," Harris said then, calling the shot "easy."

Biden and Harris have made managing the novel coronavirus their administration's primary goal and the nationwide vaccine distribution, begun in the waning days of predecessor Donald Trump, will be their first major task.

After taking office last week, Biden, 78, upped the ante on his administration's goal for the rollout.

He now says the administration hopes to administer 150 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine within the first 100 days of the new administration, raising the bar on his initial goal of getting 100 million doses out to the public.

"With the grace of God," Biden said, he hopes the U.S. will soon be delivering "1.5 million [doses] a day."

"That's my hope," the president said.

What's more he said that the vaccine should be widely available by the spring and the country will be more protected in the summer.

"It's going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we've ever tried in this country, but I think we can do that," he said. "I feel confident that by summer we're going to be well on our way to heading toward herd immunity. I feel good about where we're going, and I think we can get it done."

COVID-19 has killed at least 421,000 people in the U.S. since the pandemic began last year, according to a New York Times tracker. More than 23.5 million people have contracted the virus across the country.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.