DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, encouraged hesitant adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19 Monday. Nearly half of Iowans 18 years and older have already been fully immunized, according to the state health department.
“We have to continue encouraging as leaders for people to get vaccinated,” Ernst told WHO 13 News. Ernst, who said that she has received her COVID-19 vaccination, said that she stresses to people the benefit of getting vaccinated. “I’m not just doing it to protect myself. I’m certainly doing it to protect the people that I love,” Ernst said.
A Pew Research study showed that Democrats are 27% more likely to get immunized than Republicans. Ernst said that she would like to see Republican men step up to show others the value of vaccinations. “We certainly need Republican men out there showing leadership and getting vaccinated,” she added.
Ernst said that she has talked with some people who refuse to get vaccinated. “An outright not wanting to be involved with vaccinations, period,” she said, “I know of many people that have said they’re not going to get vaccinated. They don’t typically get the flu shot.”
The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that nearly 40% of Iowa adults receive the influenza vaccine.