US President Donald Trump has said that White House staffers should not be among the first in the country to receive the Covid-19 vaccinations.

The US is currently the worst-hit country in the world, followed by India.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the US President said: “People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the programme, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

In a statement to The Hill news website sent earlier on Sunday, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said: “Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to continuity of government protocols established in executive policy. The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the US government on the advice of public health professionals and national security leadership.”

Trump’s remarks came a day before the first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will begin arriving in US states from Monday onwards.

On 12 December, Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, had said that shipping companies UPS and FedEx will deliver the vaccine to nearly 150 state locations, Xinhua news agency reported. On 11 December, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued authorization for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine of American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, the first vaccine against the disease in the country. The emergency use authorization allows the vaccine to be distributed in the country.

The FDA said the totality of the available data provides clear evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be effective in preventing the virus.