FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans now have access to a third COVID-19 vaccine as shipments of the Johnson & Johnson’s single dose shot arrived this week.
Starting Monday, several clinics and pharmacies will begin administering Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. The focus is on those who work in education and those who work in food processing industries.
The Department of Health tells KNWA/FOX24 News the great thing about this vaccine is that it only requires one dose. They can essentially vaccinate twice the amount of people compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
It’s also easier to store because it’s refrigerated and will be easier to distribute.
The state is initially receiving 24,000 doses and in a few weeks will potentially start getting about 2,000 doses a week.
“We are quite hopeful that if we can keep the spread of the coronavirus low while we vaccine, there will be soo many people that will be spared from this illness,” said Dr. Dillaha.
2,500 will go to the University of Arkansas’ Pat Walker Health Center in Fayetteville.
The University of Arkansas’ Pat Walker Health Center continues to play a pivotal role addressing the public health of the campus community. With ADH now distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to colleges and universities across the state, PWHC is making preparations to best administer the vaccine efficiently to eligible university employees as part of the university’s ongoing vaccination efforts. Eligible university employees that have indicated vaccine interest will be contacted directly once vaccine appointments are made available in the very near future.Zac Brown, Communications Director at the Pat Walker Health Center, University of Arkansas
The ADH also expressed concerns about upcoming spring breaks and travel saying if folks are not careful it can increase the spread of covid-19 as the new U.K. variant is circulating.
Dr. Dillaha says they are encouraging people not to delay and get either of the COVID-19 vaccines shot once it becomes available to them.
She says all three are safe and will protect you and you loved ones from getting severely sick and from dying from the virus.
“I’m worried about people traveling during spring break or out of state or other areas where there are more of those variants circulating and bringing it back to Arkansas, not taking precautions and allowing the variant to get more of a foothold in the state than we already have,” said Dr. Dillaha.
She adds that studies show that all three vaccines work against the variant which we know is present in our state.
Dillaha says it’s important that everyone sticks to the health guidelines as the state works through vaccinatating as many people as possible.
As production ramps up the goal is to include many more vaccinators and have locations spread all across the state so everyone has access to the vaccine