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Live Mic: Making the coronavirus vaccine political is a shame, says Curtis

Vice President Mike Pence received the coronavirus vaccine Friday morning. (Photo credit: Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah congressman is ready to roll up his sleeves and take the coronavirus vaccine when it’s his turn — and he’s encouraging all Utah residents to do the same because there’s too much at stake not to do it. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week during a chat on Facebook with the company CEO Mark Zuckerberg that it’s likely any healthy American who wants a coronavirus vaccine will be able to walk into a drugstore and get one by April.  The bad news is 27% (down from 34% in September) of the public say they won’t — even if it’s free and determined to be safe and effective by scientists, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll Dec. 15.

The poll also found vaccine hesitancy was highest among Republicans (42%), those ages 30-49 (36%) and rural residents (35%). 

Nearly 60% cite the possibility of side effects as the top reason they are reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine, the poll found. Another 55% say their lack of trust stems from the government’s claim that the vaccine is safe and effective, hindering them from getting inoculated.

Also, 53% of the public say they are hesitant to receive an inoculation because it’s too new, followed by 51% who are concerned about the role of politics in developing the vaccine.

Do the right thing and get the coronavirus vaccine, says Rep. Curtis

Utah Republican Rep. John Curtis is advocating for the public to trust the COVID-19 vaccine and joined Lee Lonsberry on his show, Live Mic, on Monday to urge listeners to be vaccinated when it’s their turn. 

He tweeted that he has “full confidence and will gratefully take it [the vaccine] when it’s my turn — after health care workers such as my wife, Sue, and other essential workers who have made sacrifices and carried our country on their backs this year,” according to Deseret News.

Curtis said elected officials in many cases have to “own” the fact that they turned the coronavirus and its vaccine political.

“We made it political, and I don’t mean me personally, but as a group we made it political, and I think that’s a shame and really unfortunate,” Curtis said. “This should not be political. And I want to do all that I can to right that course, and confirm to people that this is a good thing, that we need to be doing this […] What could be more crazy than to get to this point and have the remedy, the cure for this, and people not being willing to take it? It just adds to the craziness of this year.”

He added that he wants to be on the right side of the debate because there is too much at stake not to be vaccinated. 

“I hope that as people get their turn, that they will step up and readily take the vaccine,” he said. 

Lee asked Curtis to directly address those who are not willing or reluctant to be vaccinated.

“Well, listen, I understand concerns,” he said. “You’re right to have concerns. My plea would be that you take a look at the record of this [vaccine]. Those in the scientific community and in the medical community who have validated that this is the right thing for us. Listen to those authorities we trust really with so many other aspects of our lives. Hopefully, they’ll gain the comfort level to take the vaccine when it’s their turn.”

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“Seeing our leaders get vaccinated gives people faith in terms of the science and in terms of the safety of this vaccine.”

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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