“We are in a race,” Hutchinson said. “And if we stopped right here, and we didn’t get greater percent of our population vaccinated, then we’re going to have trouble in the next school year and over the winter. So, we want to get ahead of that curve. Working very hard to do that.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 74 percent of people who haven’t been vaccinated say they probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated — and that the divide fell sharply along party lines. According to the survey, 86 percent of Democrats have received at least one vaccine shot compared with 45 percent of Republicans. Only 6 percent of Democrats said they are not likely to get vaccinated, compared with 47 percent of Republicans, including 38 percent of Republicans overall who said they definitely will not get the vaccine.
Hutchinson alluded to some of that partisan divide Sunday when asked about why it had been so difficult to increase Arkansas’ vaccination rate.
“Well, in a rural state, in a conservative state, there is hesitancy. And you’re trying to overcome that,” Hutchinson said. “We got the early vaccinations out because people were anxious. They were in a very vulnerable population. Our cases went down dramatically. And that slowed the vaccination rate. The urgency diminished. And now it’s picking up again.”