At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott and other administration officials pleaded with the public to take more vaccines or potentially face another version of the coronavirus.
“We’re not letting up, and what we’re seeing across the country shows exactly why we can’t. For the past several weeks, several parts of the country with low vaccination rates have seen a dramatic increase in cases and hospitalizations,” the governor said.
At the media briefing Scott said the new variant can be stopped if Vermonters take shots.
“As you’ve probably heard, this is being driven by the more transmissible Delta variant,” he said. “Fortunately, and this is important, the vaccines are proving effective against all variants we’ve encountered so far, including Delta.”
Scott said that Centers for Disease Control leadership is calling the Delta variant a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine complained that many Americans are not taking the COVID-19 shots. At least 100 million eligible Americans have decided to forego vaccination, according to the White House.
“This sadly has left millions of people still vulnerable to the virus,” Levine said. He also mentioned that new variants might require “booster shots” in the future.
He continued, “The best way to protect yourself right now is to get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated then you are highly protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
Deaths from the coronavirus in Vermont continue to be mostly among elderly people who have existing health conditions. To date, there have been eight COVID-associated deaths in Vermont under age 50, and just 20 COVID-associated deaths under age 60.
“I know there are people who may still have questions about the vaccine, who may have wanted to take more time before making their decision. So I want to emphasize again that we are here to help, along with their doctor, family, and friends,” Levine said.
A Rasmussen poll recently revealed about one-third of Americans do not believe public health officials are being truthful on vaccination safety.
Scott offered data about Vermonters who have chosen against vaccination — about 90,000 residents — and noted that younger people often choose not to get shots.
“The real message here is if you want to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19, and if you want to ensure that you recover if you do contract it, we hope you’ll get your vaccine today,” the governor said.
The push for more vaccinations also comes as national polls show Americans’ trust in government is at all-time historic lows.
“Since 2007, the share saying they can trust the government always or most of the time has not surpassed 30%,” according to pewresearch.org.
Michael Pieciak, the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, suggested that when Vermonters choose against taking the shots they are choosing to put everyone around them in danger.
“This week we are reporting 171 new COVID-19 cases, again with most of those cases among those being not fully vaccinated … again driven by the more transmissible Delta variant, spreading among those who remain unvaccinated in Vermont,” he said.
“It’s important to keep in mind that if someone decides not to be vaccinated, they are choosing not only themselves but those who they live with, work with, and socialize with, are ultimately are helping to prolong the pandemic.”
America’s Frontline Doctors’ lawyer Thomas Renz claims that at least 45,000 Americans have died within three days of getting COVID shots. The same organization made national headlines last year when its initial press conference went viral, and then faced censorship by various social media.