- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 4, 2021

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday the key to reducing vaccine hesitancy is driving home the message that getting the shot is safe and crucial to returning to a pre-pandemic life.

Mr. Reeves, a Republican, said it would be “helpful” for former President Donald Trump and other leaders across the country to urge people to get vaccinated, but added that it is more important to “educate folks.

“We need to make sure that we educate our people and let them know that this vaccine is safe,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I think the education piece is more important than the endorsement piece if you would,” the governor said.

Mr. Reeves said the message could help ease the reluctance to take the vaccine in rural parts of the country.

More than 1.3 million coronavirus vaccinations have been distributed in Mississippi and more than 535,000 residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s health department.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 25% of Mississippi’s population has received a shot and 16% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

New Mexico ranks first among the states in the percentage of fully vaccinated residents, at 25%, and Georgia ranks last, at 13%.

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