SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox joined a handful of other state governors from across the nation in a roundtable-like discussion with President Joe Biden on vaccine efforts on Tuesday morning.
Speaking on how his state has been using community leadership to increase the public’s trust in COVID-19 vaccines, Cox mentioned the importance of using “trusted voices.”
Noting that his office has been gathering data on a daily basis on those who are hesitant to get vaccinated, Cox shared a few observations that the state has made. Answering the who, where, and why of vaccination has been a priority for Utah leaders, says Cox.
“Getting people to understand that getting the vaccination is the way back to getting to do what we love to do; weddings, family reunions, Utah Jazz games,” lists Cox, a noted Jazz fan who couldn’t help himself from mentioning that the team has the top mark in the NBA.
Cox says the biggest help he could get from the White House is in getting messaging out on what a fully-vaccinated person can do in a sense of getting back to normal activities.
Utah’s governor also shared the progress the state has made in making the vaccine easy to get with the mobile vaccination clinics that have recently been made available.
In answering the ‘who’ portion of vaccination messaging, Cox made note that each demographic community relies on different kinds of leaders, but for the most part that church leaders, family doctors, and local figures are generally more trusted than the government. As such, the state is working with those who are considered “trusted voices,” to put vaccine-hesitant people at ease and encourage them to get the treatment.
At the beginning of his remarks, Cox spoke to those in the media who are reporting COVID-19 figures to note that Utah’s percentage of vaccinations may be skewed due to the state’s young population. He noted that since many Utahns have been ineligible for a while to get the vaccine due to their young age, it may be difficult to compare their percentage figures to a state like Maine, which has a much older population.
Cox made that stipulation to Biden while joking “Mr. President, we’re really good at having kids here.”