Vaccine Information

Vaccine Information

The latest information on covid-19 vaccines in Arkansas.

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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Vaccines to protect against covid-19 are already being administered in Arkansas.

The first doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in Arkansas on Dec. 14, 2020. Walgreens and CVS pharmacies contracted with the federal Department of Health and Human Services in October, and their inoculations of long-term care facilities began in Arkansas, and nationwide, on Dec. 28. The companies then plan to offer the vaccine at pharmacies, possibly in February 2021.

Vaccine distribution will occur in phases based on federal guidance, though the state doesn’t have to follow federal plans exactly. The state has made plans for Phase 1 of the rollout, which is divided into three parts.

Phase 1-A, currently in progress:

Health care workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, emergency medical services and law enforcement or firefighters who serve as first-responders, some correctional health care workers and other employees are eligible.

Hospitals vaccinate employees, pharmacies vaccinate long-term care residents and staff and community-based pharmacies vaccinate others.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the 1A group includes 180,000 Arkansans and that his goal is to complete that phase by Jan. 31.

Hutchinson also announced Jan. 12 that school staff, including teachers, and Arkansans over 70 – both part of group 1-B – became eligible for vaccines Jan. 18.

School districts should contact the department's local health unit, pharmacies or other providers to schedule vaccination clinics for their employees, he said.

School employees should contact their districts for information on how to get the vaccine, he said. Hutchinson said Arkansans age 70 and older should call participating pharmacies to schedule appointments.

Remainder of Phase 1-B, expected to begin in March:

Food/agricultural workers, firefighters and law enforcement not counted under 1-A, manufacturing workers, grocery store employees, public transportation workers, U.S. Postal Service workers and essential workers in government are eligible when this phase begins.

This group will get vaccines through community pharmacies and medical clinics.

Phase 1-C, expected to begin in April:

People 65 or older, people 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, transportation and logistics workers, waste and wastewater workers, food service workers, shelter and housing workers, finance workers, IT and communications workers, media, public safety and public health workers will be eligible during this phase. They will also get their vaccines through community pharmacies and medical clinics.

Prison inmates unassigned

State prison inmates, who have been hard-hit by the virus, haven’t been assigned to Phase 1. Department of Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves said a timeline has not been set to begin vaccinations among the state’s more than 13,000 prisoners.

After Phase 1, according to the Department of Health, Phase 2 is intended to vaccinate the “general population” while Phase 3 will finish vaccinating all people in need and move toward routine covid-19 vaccination.

Click here to see the state's current vaccination plan on the state Department of Health's website.

For more information on the virus’ symptoms and treatment, visit our frequently asked questions page. If you would like to share your experience with coronavirus and the changes it has brought to daily life or to submit your own questions about covid-19, please use this form.

The table below lists overall U.S. covid-19 vaccine distribution and administration. Because totals may differ based upon the time of reporting, the Arkansas data includes information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

Updated February 23

Covid Vaccinations in the U.S.*

*Vaccination data reported on the CDC COVID Data Tracker may differ from data reported by states and territories for several reasons:

Data may be updated on different schedules and reflect data “as of” different dates or times of day. There may be a delay between the time a vaccination record appears in a state or jurisdictional system and when it is received by CDC.

Occasionally, there may be technical issues related to processing or transmission of data. When issues arise, CDC works closely with the states, territories, and federal entities to resolve the problem. CDC receives vaccine administration information from multiple sources, including jurisdictional immunization information systems, pharmacies, federal agencies receiving a direct vaccine allocation, and the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), which supports temporary, mobile, or satellite clinics. Validation and business rules applied to prevent data duplication may cause data presented on the COVID Data Tracker to differ from what is in state immunization systems and dashboards. Every effort is made to reconcile doses administered that are reported through more than one system but, in certain circumstances, some vaccine doses administered could be counted more than once.

Health care providers report doses administered to federal, state, territorial, and local agencies up to 72 hours after administration. There may be additional lag for data to be transmitted from the federal, state, territorial, or local agency to CDC. A large difference between the number of doses distributed and the number of people initiating vaccination is expected due to several factors, including the time between doses being shipped and received, the time it takes for doses delivered to be administered, the time it takes for administered doses to be reported to CDC, and management of available vaccine stocks by jurisdictions and federal pharmacy partners.

Doses distributed and administered are reported separately for federal entities. Doses administered by federal entities are not generally attributed to the jurisdictions in which they were administered. However, some federal sites may report such doses to both the jurisdiction and to the federal entity. The “Rate per 100,000” metric displays as “n/a” for federal entities because population-based rates are not applicable. Data for federal entities will display when the “Counts” metric is selected. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) totals include employees, veteran patients, and other federal partners vaccinated by VHA.

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