Rockford Register Star: Kinzinger: Leaders should do better 'calling out b.s.' on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
ROCKFORD — U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and said he looks forward to getting a booster shot, once it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The six-term Republican representative from Channahon toured the Walgreens, 1145 N. Alpine Rd., on Wednesday and used the occasion to deliver a message to those who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If we all get in this together and we all get vaccinated, we can beat coronavirus,” Kinzinger said. “Until then, we can’t. So, it’s not just a decision that people make for themselves, it’s a decision to be made for the community. The same reason when you go into a store, you’ve got to wear a shirt. You may not want to, but we want you to wear one.”
As of Wednesday, about 46% of Winnebago County residents eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine were fully vaccinated. About 8% of people who were tested for COVID-19 during the last seven days in Winnebago County tested positive for the virus, according to the Winnebago County Health Department.
“It’s amazing to me to see people I know that are really smart college-educated people that still believe some of the lies like it’s (vaccine) magnetized or whatever,” Kinzinger said. “The good news is the hesitancy is declining
"As leaders, I think we need to do a better job of calling out the b.s., to be honest with you.”
Walgreens pharmacist Kyle Kwak, who serves as health care supervisor for the company’s northern Illinois region, told the media Wednesday that the company has provided vaccines to more than 34 million people nationwide.
“We have been able to do outreach programs through churches and other faith-based organizations to get the word out to the communities that were hit the hardest by the pandemic to reduce the hesitancy and the barriers and make it easy for everybody to get vaccinated,” Kwak said.
President Biden is proposing to roll out COVID-19 booster shots Sep. 20, pending federal authorization. The shots will be available five to eight months after people receive their primary immunizations.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s a huge thing for the Republicans to have done Operation Warp Speed, to get the vaccine as quickly as we did,” Kinzinger said. “If you’re an American, you should be very proud of how quickly this was done. Why this has become a tattoo of people’s politics, I don’t understand it and I guarantee you someday we’re going to look back and realize how silly that was.”