Sean Hannity Urges Viewers to Get COVID Vaccine: 'Enough People Have Died'
Hannity's comments come as other Fox News hosts have cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine
As cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 surge around the country — particularly in regions that supported former President Donald Trump — Fox News host Sean Hannity is urging his viewers to get vaccinated.
"Please take COVID seriously, I can't say it enough. Enough people have died. We don't need any more deaths," Hannity, 59, said on Monday night's episode of his primetime show. "Research like crazy, talk to your doctor, your doctors, medical professionals you trust based on your unique medical history, your current medical condition, and you and your doctor make a very important decision for your own safety. Take it seriously."
Hannity continued: "You also have a right to medical privacy, doctor-patient confidentiality is also very important. And it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccination."
However, on the same show, Hannity assailed universities for mandating vaccinations — even though school immunization mandates for other diseases are common.
Despite consensus from the medical and scientific communities that the vaccines are safe and necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, U.S. vaccination efforts have been met with a political divide.
Upon entering office, President Joe Biden had set a goal for 70% of American adults to get at least one Covid-19 shot by July 4. The administration didn't reach that goal, in large part due to vaccine resistance among those in deeply conservative regions of the country.
Areas of the country that supported former President Trump now show the lowest rates of vaccination and higher rates of hospitalization and deaths from the virus.
Fox News hosts have repeatedly criticized COVID-related restrictions and mask mandates, despite assertions by the scientific community that the restrictions and masks are necessary to save lives. Fox hosts have also cast doubt on the vaccines — even if they've been vaccinated themselves.
Despite comments made on-air by some hosts and guests on the network, a recent report by Insider found that the Fox Corporation has a strict COVID-19 policy in place, which mandates that only fully-vaccinated employees can work in their offices without a mask.
A recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute found that 16% of Fox watchers said they would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine. The number was an even higher 32% for watchers of the right-wing Newsmax and OAN networks.
Hannity's fellow primetime Fox News hosts, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, have featured guests who have made misleading claims about the vaccines' efficacy.
In a Monday segment on his own show, Carlson told viewers: "There are a lot of people giving you medical advice on television and you should ignore them."
Other Fox News personalities, like Steve Doocy and Bill Hemmer also spoke positively about COVID vaccines on the network this week.
"If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life," Doocy said on Monday morning's episode of "Fox & Friends," as reported by The Hill.
In a separate segment on the same show, Hemmer asked the network's medical contributor Marc Siegel: "The vaccine works, right? We haven't budged on that, have we, doc?"
"The vaccine works extremely well even against the delta variant, preventing infection in 90 percent of cases," Siegel said.
Multiple large-scale studies have found that vaccines are safe. There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.