FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The state has recently vaccinated its 1 millionth Arkansan, however, Governor Hutchinson says while it’s a milestone it is not time to celebrate.
It was just announced Arkansas will now be ordering 50% less vaccine because of the declining demand. This is the first time the state has decreased its COVID-19 vaccine order.
“We’re starting to build up the inventory,” says Hutchinson, “but the demand is slacking.”
I spoke to the Director of Arkansas Vaccination Efforts, Col. Robert Ator, and he says the decline is a trend he’s been noticing on a weekly basis.
“Week to week we’re seeing about a 17% drop,” says Ator.
In terms of a solution, Ator says the current project is to vaccinate the demographic he labels as the moveable middle, those open to getting the vaccine, but arent as motivated to get to it.
“We’re going to be moving vaccine to every doctor’s office, to every pharmacy, to every community hospital, and then we’re going to be moving these strick team to be able to hit things like sporting events. What were looking to do is add ease of access and depth,” says Ator.
Another piece to the puzzle is connecting with more hesitant communities.
“Whatever that pathway of trust is, that’s where we need to be operating. So there has been a lot of outreach with the different houses of worship and the different churches within the state because I think that is an absolutelyhttps://www.nwahomepage.com/lifestyle/health/coronavirus/covid-19-whats-next-colonel-rob-ator-talks-vaccine-rollout-in-arkansas/ critical piece to this,” says Ator.
Solutions Gov. Hutchinson hopes helps us turn the page.
“I want this over with. How I feel is I want vaccines in arms so we can turn the chapter in Arkansas history to move on from this pandemic,” says Hutchinson.