March 10, 2021
WASHINGTON - At the Republican leadership press conference today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) encouraged all Americans to consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible. Blunt emphasized the safety and efficacy of the FDA-approved vaccines, and said that getting Americans vaccinated is critical to reopening the economy and returning to normal life.
Following Are Excerpts of Blunt’s Remarks:
“Well, I want to join Dr. Barrasso in encouraging people who are willing to have a vaccine to have a vaccine. There are a certain number of Americans today that just don't think vaccines are a good idea. I'm not one of them. I wouldn't be in favor of legislation that required them to have a vaccine.
“But having the vaccine is the way that gets our economy back to normal. It's the way that gets our families back to normal. It's the way that gets us interacting again like we'd like to interact. We have some options now. And, frankly, I think they're all pretty good options. You know, there's the two shots that really we wouldn't have if it hadn't been for the investment that we've made at NIH over the last several years. …
“So if I was any American that had access to a vaccine, I wouldn't think that one of them was not as good as the other ones. I’d just try to find the one that met what I thought my schedule and my needs were at the time and get us all to a better place quicker.
“Operation Warp Speed actually worked. And so we've got vaccines that are about two years quicker than we would have had them otherwise. I think the president today just announced that he was going to exercise another [100,000,000] of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines that President Trump had already future contracted for, and [he] has come up with some ways to produce those quicker than we might have otherwise. But if they weren't there, we wouldn't be producing them. You and I couldn't have them.
“I hope every American thinks seriously about the way out of the pandemic and looks at their vaccine options and takes advantage of them as soon as they can.”