NORTHWEST, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Vaccinations are underway in Northwest Arkansas, but filling up the slots has been a challenge.
It could be better.RYAN CORK, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS COUNCIL
Ryan Cork with the Northwest Arkansas Council, which hopes to administer 5,000 COVID-19 doses this week, said part of the issue could be timing. Both clinics run from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., which can be a tough time for most adults.
He said the council is discussing opening clinics in the evenings, as well as on Saturdays.
“Maybe we can reach a broader community by being flexible on our end to help accommodate the working parent individuals,” he said. “Or the 16 or 17 year old that is in school and can’t get out in time.”
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health said another possible reason? People thinking they have to pay for a vaccine.
“The U.S. government has purchased all of the vaccine doses and are making it available to us, at no cost,” Dr. Dillaha said. “The recipient of the vaccine will not have to pay anything.”
Dr. Dillaha thinks another reason could also be people thinking the vaccine isn’t safe.
To me, it would be such a tragedy for someone to decide not to get a vaccine based on misinformation or something they misunderstood.DR. JENNIFER DILLAHA, STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ADH
One thing both Dr. Dillaha and Cork hope isn’t a vaccination barrier — is not knowing there are clinics with shots ready to be given.
“We are here, we are open, please come, it’s non-billable, there is no insurance involved,” Cork said. “If you can schedule, schedule, if you can walk up, walk up.”
This week’s Northwest Arkansas Council clinic details are as follows:
Clinic 1: Washington County
- When: Wednesday, April 7, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Northwest Arkansas Mall in former Sears Service Center (4201 N. Shiloh Drive, Suite 98, Fayetteville, Ark.)
Clinic 2 – Benton County
- When: Thursday, April 8, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: J.B. Hunt Headquarters, Building C (708 W. Apple Blossom Ave., Lowell, Ark.)
Registration for vaccines can be found on their website.