SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — State lawmakers came together Saturday afternoon intending to get more people vaccinated in Missouri.
The vaccine clinic comes as COVID-19 cases rise in Springfield.
“This is bigger than politics,” said State Senator Lincoln Hough. ” It’s about your community and it’s about staying healthy and it’s about moving forward.”
The COVID-19 vaccine has been a topic of debate for many Americans.
“We have talking heads on every screen of our lives and sadly it became political very early on,” said Hough.
The politics of the COVID-19 has been causing some people to turn away from getting the vaccine.
“It really should not be,” said Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. ” We know it’s safe, we know it’s effective, we know it’s an answer to what we’ve been looking for and how we control this virus. So, whatever political concerns people have I say this is not the place for them.”
“I 100% agree it’s your personal choice,” said Hough. “You cannot however argue with the statistics that our hospitals are reporting. And when Cox and Mercy are saying 90 plus percent of people that they’re treating in their COVID wards right now are non-vaccinated, you can’t argue with that.”
Lawmakers and local health leaders are urging eligible children to get vaccinated. Levi Grant, 13, received his first dose Saturday and wants his friends to do the same.
“If they asked me about it I’d probably say it’s fine,” said Grant. “It probably just hurt like a little bit when you get it but it will hurt later, probably later on and I encourage them to get it.”
Lawmakers are hoping to pass that same encouragement on to others.
“One gentleman said, ‘You know, if Republicans and Democrats can agree on something, I’m sure that both sides are telling the truth because that doesn’t happen very often,” said State Representative Betsy Fogle.
“We’ve got students getting ready to go back to schools,” said Hough. “Let’s get these vaccination rates up in our classrooms with our teachers, our administrators, all over our community because that’s what’s going to get us past this.”
McClure is hopeful that initial approval of the vaccine for children younger than 12 will happen in September.