By Graham Smithson
Arkansas vaccine efforts are on an upward trend after recent expansions of COVID-19 vaccination phases.
In Little Rock, pharmacies and hospitals are working overtime. Cornerstone Pharmacy at Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock has been a leader in the vaccination effort for the Pulaski County area.
Cornerstone pharmacist Allison Ingram is passionate about saving lives through the vaccination. The process can be exhausting, but Ingram often tells her nursing students about the importance of their job.
“Yes, it is hard, and we’re tired,” Ingram said. “But I guarantee we saved a life today.”
Additionally, Cornerstone has set up a wait list for residents to ensure no vaccine doses are wasted. Through three months of administering vaccines in Arkansas, Ingram said she believes the rise in access to the vaccines is meeting overall demand. Ingram has traveled to Conway, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, and Russellville to give vaccinations in addition to her efforts in Little Rock.
On March 16, Gov. Asa Hutchinson expanded access to the vaccine to more than 1 million people by moving the state to vaccination phase 1-C, which means a range of essential workers and those at high risk due to health issues now can get a shot.
So far, 560,168 Arkansans have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and 26% of the Pulaski County population has been fully vaccinated. One Little Rock hospital worker reported seeing a rise in access and overall desire from patients to receive a vaccination.
Ella Greer, a Patient Care Technician at Children’s Hospital and UAMS Nursing Student, volunteered to give Pfizer vaccinations. She has since administered hundreds of vaccines. “I have told everyone that I have never seen people so excited to receive a shot,” said Greer.