Lawmaker Leaves His Vaccination Up to Constituents

Saying both sides have good points, Rep. Dusty Johnson posts a poll online
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2020 8:12 AM CST
Lawmaker on When to Get His Shot: You Decide
US Rep. Dusty Johnson makes remarks during the Carnegie Medal presentation to Sturgis Sgts. Dylan Goetsch and Christopher Schmoker July 9, 2020, in the Sturgis City Council chambers. Johnson spoke on the officers' persistence and human decency.   (Siandhara Bonnet/Rapid City Journal via AP)

Mike Pence has already had his coronavirus vaccination. Gov. Kristi Noem won't get the shot until sometime next year. US Rep. Dusty Johnson, another South Dakota Republican, is undecided, the Argus Leader reports. So he's asking the people of his district—which is the entire state—to help him make the call. "Some elected officials, like Vice President Mike Pence, are getting the vaccine early to increase public confidence and model good behavior," Johnson said in a statement. "Other leaders are waiting, not wanting to go to the front of the line. Good arguments can be made on both sides, which is why I want South Dakotans to help with this decision."

Johnson's constituents can call his office or take an online survey. Noem is among those elected officials who said they don't want to go to the front of the line, per the Argus Leader. "Governor Noem will get the vaccine when it's readily available," her spokesman wrote in an email, "after those who need it the most have been given an opportunity to take it." The state is making vaccinations available first to front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care homes. South Dakota has received its first 7,800 doses from Pfizer and expects Moderna shipments this week. (More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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