LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WMC) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Dr. Jose R. Romero received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Arkansas advanced to the 1B stage of vaccine distribution Monday, expanding eligibility to the 70-plus population, teachers and education staff, food and agricultural workers, police, firefighters and correctional staff as well as manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, U.S. Postal workers and essential government workers. Initial prioritization is given to those 70 and older, teachers and educational staff.
Hutchinson applauded hospitals, pharmacists and other providers across the state for the speed with which they’ve been able to deliver the vaccine. According to the CDC, Arkansas has administered more than 118,000 doses so far, nearly 10,000 per capita.
He said Arkansas expects the delivery of a little more than 53,000 additional doses this week, about 37,000 of which are meant for use as the first dose and the rest for the second dose.
The governor encouraged people to take the vaccine when they are eligible and asked for people to be patient as the state works to speed the delivery.
Arkansas’ first lady, Susan Hutchinson, and several teachers also received their vaccine during the news conference.