LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Governor Asa Hutchinson celebrated Thursday as the 1 millionth Arkansan received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Hutchinson said Sherian Kwanisai, a nurse with the Arkansas Department of Health, nursing director for a local public health unit as well as the first Arkansan to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Arkansas, gave the 1 millionth vaccine to Sheryl Moore, a Shorter College student.
Hutchinson said the 1 millionth Arkansan vaccinated represents a group he’s pushing to get the vaccine- students.
Hutchinson gave the student and Kwanisai pins from the governor’s office.
After the 1 millionth vaccine was given, the governor discussed a report he received from the CDC. It outlines Arkansas’s performance indicators on how the state is doing with vaccine distribution compared to the rest of the country. Hutchinson said ordering is at the top, the administration is doing well and the state is leading when it comes to equity in comparison to the rest of the country. The governor noted inventory is where the state is weak because inventory is starting to build.
Hutchinson said he feels “really fantastic” with 33 percent of the state’s population vaccinated and over 40 percent that are eligible for the vaccine vaccinated. He also noted up to 50 percent of the state’s inmate population has been vaccinated.
The governor said he wants vaccines in arms so the state can turn the page.
Hutchinson said the biggest reasons he’s heard for people not getting the vaccine is people putting it off or are waiting and seeing. He said the confidence in the vaccine is there.
Hutchinson said he went into a restaurant and was told all of the employees have been vaccinated.
The state is working with pharmacies and medical groups to spread awareness and get everyone to get the shot.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, there have been 334,061 total cases of the coronavirus and 5,708 deaths due to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
You can watch the news conference in the video player above.