Emotional moment for Arkansas health care workers as they receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Ark. health care workers receive COVID-19 vaccine

JONESBORO, Tenn. (WMC) - The Pfizer COVID vaccine has arrived in the Mid-South.

Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Arkansas just after 8 Monday morning. The Arkansas Department of Health says they received about 975 doses and are expecting 25,000 all together of this first round.

First COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Arkansas

Here’s the list of all the healthcare facilities that will receive the first round of the vaccine:

  • Arkansas Department of Health
  • Arkansas Heart Hospital
  • Baptist Health - Fort Smith
  • Baptist Health - Little Rock
  • Baptist Health - NLR
  • Baxter Regional Medical Center
  • CHI St Vincent - Hot Springs
  • CHI St Vincent - Little Rock
  • Conway Regional Medical Center
  • Hyde Pharmacy
  • Jefferson Regional Medical Center
  • Kavanaugh Pharmacy
  • Mercy Hospital - Fort Smith
  • Mercy Hospital - Rogers
  • NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital
  • Northwest Medical Center – Springdale
  • St. Bernards Medical Center
  • UAMS Medical Center
  • Unity Health
  • Village Healthmart Pharmacy #1
  • Washington Regional Medical Center
  • Westside Pharmacy
  • White River Medical Center
  • Woodsprings Pharmacy

Northeast Arkansas Baptist Memorial received 975 doses and vaccinated 10 employees Monday afternoon.

Infectious disease physician, Dr. Steven Stroud was the first up and says the data of the vaccine gave him confidence in getting it.

“I certainly believe it’s safe and the data will show it’s effective so again I had no reservations,” said Stroud.

”For me to be vaccinated it means the world to me that I will be able to go around my family,” said Brielle Rowland, RN, NEA Baptist.

First vaccines given in Jonesboro, Ark.

For Rowland, it was an emotional moment with hope to the end of a difficult year.

”It means the world to me and you know I think less people should be afraid of it,” said Rowland. “If they could come walk a mile in my shoes they would see exactly what we are dealing with COVID is scarier than this vaccine I promise you.”

Baptist Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld says their employees are not required to take the vaccine, but there hasn’t been much push back.

“The data are beyond our expectations really and really beyond what we had hoped for in terms of the efficacy this vaccine there are no deaths from the vaccine trails 10′s of thousands of people have had it and no major complications to compare that,” said Threlkeld.

The Arkansas Department of Health has not commented on when the Moderna vaccine will come in.

“This is a historic day in the fight against the pandemic in Arkansas, and Sherian Kwanisai has taken her place in our history as the first Arkansan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Four other front-line health care workers and Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe joined her today at the Arkansas Department of Health for their immunizations. We are now on the final stretch of this very long journey to beat the coronavirus. As the FDA approves additional vaccines, we will be able to vaccinate the employees of our long-term care facilities. But this is not the time to let down your guard. COVID-19 remains a threat that requires us to continue to follow public health guidelines.”

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