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Sen. Joni Ernst Receives First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst joined other Congressional lawmakers in receiving a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.

“I encourage all Iowans and Americans to do the same when their time comes. Thanks to #OperationWarpSpeed and the tireless work of Americans across the country, we are one step closer to defeating this virus,” Ernst wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Ernst joins House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Congressional lawmakers who began receiving the coronavirus vaccine this weekend. Capitol physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan informed lawmakers Thursday that they are all eligible to receive the vaccine, according to the Associated Press.

President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to receive his first dose of the vaccine in public on Monday.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available to the general public. U.S. officials expect it to be widely available by the middle of 2021.

Last week, health care workers and residents living in long-term care facilities were among the first in the U.S. to receive Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. On Sunday, a U.S. CDC advisory panel recommended that frontline essential workers and people 75 years and older be next in line to receive a vaccine.

Distribution for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine began on Sunday. Iowa is tentatively scheduled to receive 53,800 doses of Moderna’s vaccine this week and 19,500 doses the week after, according to allocation numbers given to the Iowa Department of Public Health from the CDC.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s vaccine requires two doses.

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