By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s ranking as the state with the lowest percentage of its population vaccinated against the coronavirus is “disappointing,” a spokesman for Gov. Mark Gordon said Wednesday.
Michael Pearlman told Cowboy State Daily that the low vaccination rate in Wyoming was likely due to a number of factors, including its largely rural population and the fact that in small communinties, people have seen fewer health impacts from the coronavirus among their friends and neighbors than in the state’s cities.
He also noted there has also been misinformation circulating about the effectiveness and safety of the COVID vaccines.
“On the positive side, Wyoming has seen an increase in the number of vaccinations given since July 4,” Pearlman said. “Each day, more Wyomingites are getting vaccinated. We are hopeful that full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and over will encourage more Wyomingites to choose vaccination.”
Gordon continues to believe vaccination will help keep the state’s businesses and schools open.
“He believes the science is clear that vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” Pearlman said. “He knows that vaccination provides protection for individuals and their loved ones; can help ensure healthcare access remains available for all Wyomingites; that our schools remain open and our economy remains healthy..
Pearlman added that Gordon is also encouraging people to get the vaccine, but like U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, he believes vaccination is a personal choice based on certain circumstances.
According to the CDC, Wyoming had 201,863 unvaccinated adults, 45.36% of its population, the highest rate of unvaccinated people in the country.
West Virginia and Mississippi each owned the distinction of having the highest share of unvaccinated residents in the nation for months until Wyoming recently surpassed each state.
West Virginia is in 49th place with 44.36% of its citizens being unvaccinated while Mississippi is next at 44.20%.
Texas actually had the highest number of unvaccinated adults, with 6.6 million, but that amounted to only 30.8% of its population.