Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar heralded Monday’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the US as the “light at the end of the tunnel” — and begged people to get the shot.
“Today’s just such a historic day as we hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel of this horrible pandemic and the toll of human suffering that we have seen,” Azar told the “Today” show.
“If you are recommended to get it, and it’s available to you — oh, please do get it.”
He added, “Protect yourself and protect those around you — but please, get the vaccine.”
The US has recorded more than 16 million cases of coronavirus and almost 300,000 deaths, according to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University.
Azar reiterated hopes that the US will have administered at least 100 million shots by the end of February. He also predicted that around that same time, anybody will be able to walk into a pharmacy for the vaccine — much like they can now for a flu shot.
While marking a historic rush for such a mammoth immunization plan, Azar said it meant the coming months are a “call for action” to “act responsibly” during the upcoming “bridging period.”
“We’ve got these vaccines coming to you — I want you to be there to get these vaccines,” he said.
“I want you to be there. I want next year’s Christmas and holidays — I want everyone in your family to be there.
“So please be careful over the next several weeks, be very careful,” he said.