COVID-19 in Arkansas: Gov. Hutchinson announces 12.8% of Arkansans have received vaccine

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday 12.8% of Arkansans have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to an update Tuesday afternoon from the Arkansas Department of Health, 651,275 doses have been received. State officials say 413,116 of the doses have been given.

Out of the total doses the state has received, 601,875 doses have been received by hospitals, state long-term care facilities and other health care providers. Of the doses received by hosptials, state long-term care facilities and other health care providers, 392,212 have been given, which is 65.2%.

Also out of the total doses the state has received, 49,400 of them have been allocated in a federal program through CVS and Walgreens. According to state officials, 20,904 of the allocated doses have been given, or 42.3%.

Hutchinson said he’s pleased with the vaccine distribution team and grateful for hospitals and front lines for getting vaccines out quickly.

The governor said all of the state’s long-term care facilities have had vaccine clinics available, first responders have been covered and over 50% of teachers and staff have had access to the vaccine. Hutchinson said they do not have a data point to reference, but that is his best estimate.

Hutchinson noted the vaccinations of Arkansans ages 70 and older have a ways to go and the state needs more progress before opening up to other populations.

State officials say they are getting vaccines into arms of people within 72 hours.

The governor said this week, the National Retail Pharmacy program will provide a 20% increase in vaccine availability. This will be through Walmart. Fifty-eight Walmart stores will have 11,000 doses delivered and plan to start administering on Friday.

Hutchinson also announced Tuesday across the country, there will be 1 million doses that will go to federally-qualified health centers. The governor said there are 12 community health organizations and 120 clinics in Arkansas. This is a part of a new federal effort to get the vaccine to more of the population and underserved areas. The announcement came during the governor’s call with President Biden’s COVID-19 task force. Hutchinson said it is unknown how many clinics will receive doses.

The governor said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be giving guidance to repurpose second doses for those who do not show up for their second vaccination appointments. According to Hutchinson, the CDC will recommend the doses be distributed to someone else.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday there are 1,475 new COVID-19 cases, which is 820 confirmed cases and 655 probable cases.

The Arkansas Department of Health says since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 308,848 total COVID-19 cases in the state.

According to ADH, the number of active cases decreased by 422 from Monday to 14,898.

Governor Hutchinson announced Tuesday an additional 42 people have died due to complications of COVID-19. Of the deaths announced Tuesday, 38 are among confirmed cases and four are among probable cases.

In total, 5,148 Arkansans have died due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

State officials say the number of Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus dropped by two on Tuesday to 775.

According to ADH, 137 people are on ventilators across the state due to the virus, which is a decrease of five from Monday.

Governor Hutchinson said $500,000 has been spent this month and next month for an advertising effort about stopping the spread.

Secretary of Health Dr. José Romero said the state reached an important milestone Tuesday that the seven-day rolling average is below a 10% positive rate.

You can watch the full news conference in the video player above.

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