Congressional staffers will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, Politico reports.
Brian Monahan, Congress’ attending physician, told lawmakers on Monday that two staffers for every lawmaker and four staffers for every committee chair and ranking member would be eligible to receive a vaccine.
Monahan said that the vaccines were meant for “critical” employees whose jobs were essential for “continuity of operations.”
"Employees who occupy positions determined to make them eligible for the vaccine under these standards will be and/or have been notified of their status separately and provided with logistical information regarding the process for scheduling an appointment for the vaccination," Monahan said in a memo to lawmakers.
"We will continue to keep the House community informed of further supply of COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available on a wider scale,” he added.
Lawmakers already got vaccines:
Most Congressional lawmakers have already received their first shot of the two-dose vaccine.
The first batch was aimed at ensuring the “continuity of government.” Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were among the first to get vaccinated.
Monahan said that Congress has enough vaccines for more than 1,000 Capitol Hill aides to receive the two necessary doses.
Vaccine rollout delayed:
The news comes as the country faces a delayed vaccine rollout that Trump administration officials admitted would fall short of its goal.
The administration vowed to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of the month, but with just three days until January fewer than 3 million people have been vaccinated.
The administration said it still aims to deliver enough vaccines for 20 million people to get both doses but the process of vaccinating people has been slower than expected.
States have already received more than 11 million doses but only about a third of them have been used.