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Full FDA Approval For Pfizer Might Make A Small Dent In Idaho Vaccination Rates

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Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine full approval, but earlier data suggests it may not make much of a difference for hesitant Idahoans.

Gov. Brad Little celebrated the news in a short video.

“Full approval for the Pfizer vaccine helps impart additional confidence for Idahoans still on the fence about getting the shot,” Little said.

Pfizer’s vaccine is the only shot approved for those 12 and older.

Vaccination rates are beginning to slowly rise. Data from state health officials show 26,000 people got vaccinated in Idaho last week – up 10,000 doses from a month ago.

A survey of 300 unvaccinated adults commissioned by the state in June shows hesitancy is a significant problem.

About half of state residents say they “definitely” won’t get the vaccine, and just 4% said FDA approval would make them roll up their sleeves, despite serious side effects being exceedingly rare.

Just 38% of all Idahoans have been fully vaccinated, though many children still aren’t eligible.

Of those who are eligible, 48% are fully vaccinated in the state compared to 60.4% nationwide.

The biggest factor in convincing someone to get a shot? Time.

Some say they’ll wait up to a decade before getting one, even though Idaho hospitals are again brimming with COVID-19 patients – nearly all of them unvaccinated.

Other incentives, like free guns, jet skis, cash or having an in-home vaccination appointment weren’t all that popular.

Among those who haven’t gotten the vaccine, the majority either don’t trust the science behind them or they don’t think getting COVID-19 is that bad.

As of Tuesday evening, Idaho had recorded 2,308 deaths and 215,042 confirmed and probable cases.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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