New: Check rates of vaccination by county, total first and second doses administered.
By Abby Zimmardi
The effort to vaccinate Arkansans against the COVID-19 virus moves to a new stage of Phase 1-B on Feb. 23 as the state lowered the age threshold from 70 and will offer shots to people 65 years and older.
The Arkansas Department of Health’s vaccination plan divided Phase 1 of vaccine distribution into three sections: 1-A, 1-B and 1-C. Arkansas is in an expansion of Phase 1-B, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson said involved an additional 115,000 people. As of Feb. 23, some 534,479 shots had been administered, according to Arkansascovid.com data.
State officials learned that they may be receiving fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccines than expected, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported on Jan. 16. The issue involved a lack of vaccine stockpile and miscommunication from Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. Some state officials were angered to learn the stockpiles didn’t exist as promised.
The announcement of fewer available vaccines will not affect Arkansas’ vaccine distribution plan, Gavin Lesnick, Arkansas Department of Health public information director, said on Jan. 16. “Our allocation has not gone down,” Lesnick said in an email. “It has stayed the same and we expect it to remain at the same level for at least the next couple weeks. We will continue with our plan, and supply will be distributed to providers around the state as it comes in.”
The state moved to the 1-B phase on Jan. 18, which involved an estimated 400,000 people, not including essential workers, Hutchinson has said. The expansion of Phase 1-B lowered the age threshold from 70 to 65 and this includes an additional 115,000 eligible people.
People eligible to receive a vaccine in the expansion of Phase 1-B starting Feb. 23:
- Arkansans 65 years and older
- Education workers – K-12, child care and higher education
As vaccine supply increases, additional groups will be eligible to receive a vaccine in Phase 1-B:
- Food/agricultural workers
- Firefighters, police and correctional staff not in Phase 1-A
- Manufacturing workers
- Grocery store workers
- Public transit workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Essential government workers
People eligible to receive a vaccine in Phase 1-C estimated to begin in April:
- People 65 years and older
- People age 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions
- Transportation and logistics workers
- Water and wastewater workers
- Food service workers
- Shelter and housing workers
- Finance workers
- IT and communications workers
- Energy workers
- Public safety workers
- Public health workersSee the details about the vaccination rollout in Spanish.
How to receive a vaccine:
- For many hospital workers and long-term care staff and residents, vaccine clinics will likely be at the hospital or care facility of the worker.
- For people who will not receive vaccines at their place of work, they can call and schedule an appointment at a pharmacy to get vaccinated. Check out a map of pharmacies across Arkansas distributing the vaccine.
- People eligible to receive the vaccine may only contact one provider, ADH said.
Vaccine clinics and events:
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will offer vaccines beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19 for people 70 years and older and education workers.
- For people 70 years and older, they must bring a photo ID with the date of birth, and for people under 70, school IDs are required.
- Vaccines will be available on the UAMS seventh-floor clinic of the Freeway Medical Tower in Little Rock from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Appointments are required and can be made by calling 501-686-8960.
Arkansas State University is scheduled to have a vaccination clinic for ASU employees Tuesday, Jan. 19 at First Nations Bank Arena in Jonesboro.
- The over 1,000 employees who signed up to receive a vaccine need to bring their A-State ID card and insurance card
- Employees who are on a waitlist received an email stating that there is a possibility of receiving a vaccine if additional doses become available.
The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville is scheduled to have a mass vaccination clinic for university employees Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
- Employees need to bring a university photo ID, insurance card, driver’s license or other form of photo ID and their individualized letter from the UA. Letters are emailed to employees eligible to receive a vaccine.
- UA faculty, staff and graduate assistants who are required to be on campus are eligible to receive a vaccine Jan. 18 in Phase 1-B.
Information about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine:
- The vaccine is free, but the vaccine provider may bill the insurance company.
- If someone is unable to pay the administration fee, they will not be denied a vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- At the vaccination appointment, a vaccine record card will be provided with information about which vaccine was administered, where it was administered and the date.
- A paper or an electronic version of a vaccine fact sheet will be provided.
- Most COVID-19 vaccines will require two shots to be effective, according to the CDC.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a second shot three weeks after the first one.
- The Moderna vaccine requires a second shot one month after the first shot.
Possible COVID-19 vaccine side effects, according to the CDC:
- Pain and swelling on the arm where the shot was administered
- Fever, chills, tiredness or headaches may occur
The CDC recommends drinking fluids, dressing lightly, applying a clean and cool wet washcloth over the area of the shot or exercising the arm in which the shot was administered to reduce pain, discomfort or fever. Call a doctor if tenderness or redness increased after 24 hours or if side effects do not go away after a few days.
If you have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ArkansasCovid on Twitter