COVID-19: Donald Trump urges his supporters to get coronavirus vaccine

·2-min read

Donald Trump has urged his supporters to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

During an interview with Fox News, the former US president said the jab is "safe" and "something that works".

He said he would recommend vaccination to "a lot of people that don't want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me".

Mr Trump acknowledged people were free to decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"We have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also," he said.

"But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works," he added.

Republican hesitancy about receiving the vaccine is strong, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.

It found 42% of Republicans say they probably or definitely will not have the jab, compared with 17% of Democrats - a 25 point difference.

Mr Trump urged those attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February to get vaccinated: "Everybody, go get your shot."

However, he did not disclose that he had received a jab.

He and his wife Melania were vaccinated in private before leaving the White House in January, a Trump adviser revealed earlier this month.

It is not clear which vaccine they received and their vaccination was not disclosed at the time by the Trump administration.

The official White House photographer was also not present to document the event, according to US media reports.

President Joe Biden publicly received both doses of his COVID jab to boost confidence about America's vaccine programme.

Four former US presidents - Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama - made a video urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Mr Biden has pledged that all American adults will be eligible for a vaccine by 1 May.

He said his goal is to get the country "closer to normal" by 4 July, so Americans can celebrate Independence Day with their loved ones.