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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on June 22. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas is traveling around the state and meeting face-to-face with residents in an effort to combat vaccine hesitancy as COVID-19 cases rise and vaccinations remain low, AP reports.

Why it matters: Hutchinson's statewide vaccination tour — which has drawn skepticism and in some cases, hostility from residents — distinguishes the governor from other Republican elected leaders, who often portray health leaders as adversaries even as they try to bring down cases, per AP.

The big picture: Hutchinson, who took over as head of the National Governors Association this month, has made combating vaccine resistance a priority.

  • He has urged the Food and Drug Administration to grant full approval to vaccines instead of emergency authorization, a move he says would counter one of the prevailing arguments by vaccine opponents, per AP.
  • Arkansas has the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the United States and about 35% of the state's population has been fully vaccinated, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: In his meetings with residents, Hutchinson seeks to empathize and understand why an individual may be against getting the vaccine. He also encourages individuals to heed advice from their own doctors and medical professionals, not conspiracy theories.

  • "Let me make sure it’s clear: I’m not asking you to trust government," Hutchinson told a group of residents. "I’m asking you to look at, do your own research, talk to people that you trust, and that to me is the right approach."

Go deeper: Arkansas governor working to reverse vaccination trends

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.