Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) on Tuesday urged voters to get vaccinated against COVID-19, crediting the vaccines for his recovery after he fell ill with the coronavirus last week.
The 66-year-old Republican, who is fully vaccinated, announced last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing mild flu-like symptoms.
Speaking in the Senate on Tuesday, Graham thanked his colleagues for their well wishes. He said there had been a “really bad couple of days” but he was doing better.
“I think the worst is over,” he said. “I want to reinforce a simple message: if you have not been vaccinated regarding the COVID problem, you should get vaccinated.”
“I am sure that if I had not had the vaccine it would have been much worse,” he added.
It is rare for fully vaccinated people to contract the virus, although infections can still occur, as no vaccine is 100% effective. In these breakthrough cases, the vaccine helps reduce the severity of the disease and significantly reduces the chances of hospitalization or death.
Graham went on to note that in his state of South Carolina, about half of the residents remain unvaccinated. According to to the state Department of Health45.3% of eligible residents in the state are fully vaccinated and 52.8% have received at least one dose.
“Just for your own good and that of our state, I urge you to consider getting vaccinated. I think the vaccine is safe, it works, ”Graham said, addressing constituents. “I’m glad we had it, and the sooner we achieve herd immunity through vaccines and other means, the better off we’ll be.”
Graham was vaccinated at the end of December and has previously encouraged others to get vaccinated.
Numerous polls have shown a partisan gap on the issue of vaccines. Polls have repeatedly shown that Republicans are far less likely to say they will get vaccinated than Democrats.
Conservative media personalities don’t help the vaccine gap that fuels vaccinations, Republican lawmakers spreading misinformation about vaccines and conspiracy theories, and the GOP’s reluctance to report it.
Several prominent conservatives have recently begun to publicly voice their support for vaccines, including Fox News host Sean Hannity and House Minority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.).
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