- The Washington Times - Monday, February 14, 2022

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin released a public service announcement Monday urging state residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19, part of a strategy that relies on upbeat messaging about the future instead of arm-twisting through mandates.

The 30-second digital ad is part of the new Republican governor’s broader strategy to dispatch mobile vaccination clinics to rural areas and other places with lagging immunization rates.

Mr. Youngkin said the vaccine is the best way to ensure better days ahead after a “heartbreaking” pandemic.

“I have always been a strong advocate for everyone to get the vaccine. We know that the vaccine is the best protection against severe illness as a result of COVID-19. I have made the choice to get vaccinated and encourage everyone to join me in doing that, but ultimately it is a personal decision to do so,” Mr. Youngkin said.

The U.S. vaccination rate for COVID-19 remains stalled at about 64%. Virginia’s vaccination rate is 71.5%.

Mr. Youngkin is among Republicans who are trying to promote the shots without resorting to heavy-handed requirements that might alienate some holdouts.

The new ad features the governor seated at a busy lunch counter — the type of place that was shuttered during the early brunt of the pandemic.

At one point, he serves other people hot coffee out of a carafe while his voice-over tells Virginians where to find a vaccination site.

“I won’t mandate it, but my family and I made the choice to get vaccinated,” the governor tells viewers. “We have come so far, so I’m asking you as your friend and your neighbor: Please get the vaccine, and we can get through this together.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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