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U.S. surgeon general on the ‘most powerful tools’ to combat the delta variant

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Dr. Vivek Murthy:

Well, I think every person who speaks up influences the people who believe in them.

And I think seeing more political leaders step up to do that, seeing leaders and business and an education step up, seeing faith leaders increasingly step up in their communities to talk about the importance of getting vaccinated, I think this is actually very promising.

Now, it takes people a little bit of time to absorb those messages and then to make the decision to get vaccinated. Once they get vaccinated, it takes several weeks for them to actually increase and get the protection that they need from the virus.

But I think this is, overall, very encouraging. This is what we need to keep doing more of. The thing to remember here is that, as powerful and as important as doctors and nurses are as messengers, we actually have recent data that tells us that all of us, family members and friends, can be powerful messengers as well.

One in five of people who were on the wait-and-see category, if you will, as far as vaccines are concerned in January made the decision to get vaccine and got vaccinated. And when asked what changed their mind, they said it was talking to their family, to their friends, seeing their family and friends get vaccinated and do well.

So I say that to remind everyone that, in this phase of the vaccination campaign, it is up to us to also talk to our family and our friends, those who trust us. Ask them if they got vaccine. And if they haven’t, have them go to vaccines.gov to find a place how to help them answer questions.

But we have got to help each other get vaccinated. That’s how we’re going to end this pandemic once and for all.

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