COVID-19 Vaccine

Courtesy / U.S. Secretary of Defense

On this week's edition of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report, we hear from Ray Hanley, the president and CEO of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, about the high rate of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Arkansas and what can be done to encourage more people to get vaccinated, especially as the reluctance was escalated by the federal government’s recommendation this week to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

At his weekly coronavirus response briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson made a familiar appeal to Arkansans: get vaccinated against COVID-19. His plea came just hours after the federal government recommended a pause on using Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine following reports of six instances of rare and severe blood clots in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

courtesy / Facebook/VHSO

Many millions more U.S. veterans, including those not presently enrolled in VA health benefits, will be able to access no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, under the new Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse Act, or SAVE LIVES ActKelvin Parks, medical director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, explains how the new law will work. 

Courtesy / OU Health

Many people remain hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Douglas Drevets with the University of Oklahoma and a representative of the Infectious Diseases Society of America offers ways to encourage people to get the vaccine.

Courtesy / University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas is maintaining its campus mask requirement after Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted the statewide mask mandate on Mar. 30. The university is also offering more vaccinations to staff and students as they prepare to bring more people back to campus this summer. 

Courtesy / YouTube

During his weekly briefing on the pandemic Tuesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the state is nearing his goal of administering more than a million vaccines by the end of the March. Officials also announced that all veterans enrolled in VA Health Care are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. To watch the full briefing, click here.

Courtesy / Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations have started providing COVID-19 vaccines to the general public. While the Quapaw Nation will host free, mass vaccination clinic open to the public on Apr. 13 at Downstream Casino and Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma.

Courtesy / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This month, the Arkansas Department of Health began operating mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics in each of the state's five health regions. Clinics rotate cities weekly and are available by appointment through the ADH vaccine clinic call center at 1-800-985-6030.

Courtesy / LifeStyles, Inc.

LifeStyles hosted a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for about 160 of its clients and staff yesterday. The governor expanded eligibility to all Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities last week, but advocates say these individuals should have been offered protection much sooner.

As of Tuesday, nearly a million more Arkansans between the ages of 16 and 64 can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the eligibility expansion to all of Phase 1C in his weekly coronavirus response briefing. While not everybody in Phase 1B has been vaccinated, Hutchinson said it was important to expand eligibility to more people to make sure there isn't a gap in demand and willing patients. He added that there was reduced demand for shots in some parts of the state, especially in rural areas, and called it unacceptable.