Former President Donald Trump privately received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine while still in office in January, aides familiar with the matter say, at a time when other public officials took shots on-camera to boost public confidence in the vaccines.
Trump and his wife, Melania, have now received both doses of vaccine, said one of the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The vaccinations were first reported by the New York Times.
At the time, there were only two authorized vaccines in the U.S. -- one made by Pfizer Inc. and the other by Moderna Inc. -- each of which is administered in two doses. A third, single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson was authorized for use on Saturday.
Pfizer’s booster shot is given at least 21 days after the initial injection, while Moderna’s two shots are recommended to come 28 days apart. It’s not clear if January was the first or second dose. If it was the first and they adhered to the schedule, they would have received their booster shots after leaving the White House.
Then-Vice President Mike Pence received his first dose on Dec. 18, while then-President Elect Joe Biden got his on Dec. 21. Both did so on-camera in a bid to boost public confidence.
Trump spent months pinning his coronavirus strategy to vaccine development, but stopped short of mounting a campaign for people to get them. He gave his first plea on Sunday during a speech in Florida. “Everybody go get your shot,” he said.