Arkansas governor ‘working hard’ to overcome vaccine hesitancy amid COVID-19 surge


(WASHINGTON) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday that he and his administration are “working hard” to overcome vaccine hesitancy as cases of the delta variant surge across his state.

“We’re working very hard to go to that population (ages 30-54) … and overcoming the hesitancy,” he told ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“We want all the help,” he added. “We want to have our churches involved, we want to have our communities, organizations.”

Missouri and neighboring Arkansas lead the nation with the highest weekly case rates per capita, which translates into more than 100 per 100,000 residents. New COVID-19 hospital admissions also rose 30% over the same two-week span, and front-line workers have said patients are becoming sicker more quickly.

Top health officials have been warning for weeks that unvaccinated people have a high risk of contracting the delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India and has since spread to more than 100 countries, including all 50 U.S. states. The variant is now dominant in the U.S. and is more transmissible than the original form of the virus, according to the CDC.

As of Sunday, 48.2% of American adults have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

ABC News’ Lauren King contributed to this report.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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