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Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton volunteer for on-camera COVID vaccinations

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic is breaking daily case records and stretching hospitals thin, Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton say they’re willing to be vaccinated on camera to help bolster Americans’ confidence in vaccines that could be approved within a week.

Obama pledged to SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” this week that he’d take the vaccine once it’s “been made for people who are less at risk.”

“People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” Obama said. “So, if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely, I’m going to take it. I may end up taking on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science.”

Obama’s comments come as Pfizer and BioNTech say their vaccine could receive approval as soon as Dec. 10. Last month, American confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine showed sharp signs of wavering, with polls showing the number of adults who say they’d actually get vaccinated had dipped to 48% compared to 72% in April.

Bush and Clinton followed suit, with representatives telling CNN that they, too, were willing to publicly promote vaccination to help combat the virus that’s killed more than 273,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University.

“A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. Fauci and (Dr. Deborah Birx) know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff, told CNN. “First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations. Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”

Clinton’s press secretary, Angel Urena, told CNN the 42nd president would also be willing to be vaccinated “as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials. And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”

National experts are finalizing their recommendations for who gets the first vaccines.

Alabama plans to vaccinate long-term care patients and frontline healthcare workers in the earliest phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, if the CDC approves changes this week, but a vaccine probably won’t be available for the majority of Alabamians until June.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said earlier this week that while vaccine progress is good news, Americans must remain vigilant by social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings to blunt more surges as the holiday season continues.

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