Gov. Hutchinson confronts vaccine hesitancy in Siloam Springs

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Siloam Springs, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson was met with a lot of opposition at his community COVID conversation Friday.

The crowd was full of emotion as people questioned the governor and shared their concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Melinda Haak attended the event to share her worry about the long-term effects of the vaccine for children 12-18 years old.

“I wanted to voice my perspective as a parent,” Haak said.

While others came to the event to share their support for the vaccine. Debra Varela is a nurse anesthetist and has seen the effects of the virus first hand.

“Let’s do prevention, which would be vaccination for those who can and mitigating the effects with masks and things we can for our children who are unable,” Valera said.

While the people at the event screamed and booed, Gov. Hutchinson remained steadfast in his goal of increasing the state’s vaccination rate.

“I have to address it from a public health standpoint from the state that we’re going to be living with people dying if we don’t increase our vaccination rates,” Hutchinson said.

The Governor said vaccination rates have improved 40% since his community COVID conversations began. However, it is unclear where that number came from.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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