WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican lawmakers are under increasing pressure to persuade vaccine skeptics to roll up their sleeves and take the shots as a new, more contagious COVID-19 variant sends caseloads soaring.
But it may be too late to change the minds of many who are refusing. After months of ignoring – and, in some cases, stoking – misinformation about the virus, more Republicans have been imploring their constituents to lay lingering doubts aside.
The outreach comes as COVID-19 cases have nearly tripled in the U.S. over the last two weeks, driven by the explosion of the new delta variant, especially in pockets of the country where vaccination rates are low.
Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic told CBS 4 Minnesota Tuesday. “Don’t be deceived that ‘I got this far and I am OK. This is a very different variant. It will find you. This virus will find everybody who is not immune.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned of a return to 2020 if COVID of more people don’t get vaccinated:
Meantime, child cases of Covid-19 are rising as schools gear up to reopen. But vaccines for the youngest are still months away.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said Tuesday more than 23,550 child cases of Covid were reported between July 8 and 15 — nearly double what was being reported in late June.
Child age ranges vary by state, according to the group’s most recent report, with more than half of states defining children as anyone 19 or younger, and two states.