Arkansas begins offering COVID-19 vaccine to some in phase 1B

Vaccine rollout expands in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WMC) - On Monday, Arkansas began offering the COVID-19 vaccine to some people in the phase 1B priority group.

Arkansans who are 70 years or older and those who work in education and childcare can now get the vaccine.

Other members of phase 1B, including food/agriculture workers, manufacturing workers, public transit workers, essential government/community workers and police, firefighters and corrections workers not in phase 1A, will be able to get the vaccine later.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and his wife, Susan, who are both over 70, received the COVID-19 vaccine, along with Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

“We wanted to show Arkansas that we’re here to take the vaccine understanding it’s important for our health, but just as importantly, it is important for the state of Arkansas and our nation that we can get through this COVID pandemic by everyone taking the vaccination when it is your turn,” said Hutchinson.

Last week, pharmacy technicians at Marion Family Pharmacy said they were initially given 200 doses of the vaccine to give to people in phase 1A but ran out quickly.

“The phone probably has rung about 250 times a day,” said Candis Edwards, a pharmacy technician. “We were worried at first because of course people talk and we weren’t sure if it was going to be that big of an outcry for the vaccination and we were proved wrong.”

WMC checked back in with the pharmacy on Monday.

They said they had just received a new shipment and hoped to start administering a new round of vaccinations on Wednesday.

State health officials created an interactive map that shows all of the community pharmacies across the state where people can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Arkansas Department of Health says about 140,000 doses have been given as of Monday evening.

Right now, the state is not expected to move to phase 1C until April.

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