LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WMC) - Governor Asa Hutchison announced Tuesday everyone in Arkansas’ phase 1c group is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Phase 1c includes:
- Arkansans aged 16 to 64 with health conditions that increase their risk for severe COVID-19.
- Essential workers in: Energy, finance, food service, information technology and communications, legal, media, public health/human services, public safety, shelter and housing, transportation and logistics.
- People residing in high-risk settings: Includes those who are incarcerated or detained; those living in group homes, congregate settings, or crowded housing; and student housing such as dorms and Greek housing.
The governor said there has been a recent decrease in demand for the vaccine in Arkansas, and he’s hoping this will turn things around.
Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Jose R. Romero held their weekly briefing Tuesday afternoon in Little Rock to provide an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus and vaccine distribution efforts.
Hutchinson said as of Tuesday, 10% of Arkansans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
By expanding vaccine eligibility to all of phase 1c, the governor says a million more people can now get the vaccine.
Hutchinson said the hesitancy of people in rural Arkansas to get the vaccine must improve.
The vaccine is also available for Arkansans in phases 1a and 1b. That includes:
- Phase 1a includes hospital employees, long-term care facility workers and other health care workers, including first responders.
- Phase 1b includes anyone 65 and older, those who work in education -- K-12 teachers, child care and higher education -- and food manufacturing workers. It also includes firefighters and police not vaccinated in 1a, including volunteers, manufacturing, grocery, public transit, postal service, essential government workers, corrections officers and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.