NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Health reports about 20% of Arkansans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Several local organizations are ramping up efforts to increase access to the shot.
One of those key organizations is the NWA Council, who continues to partner with community leaders and health systems to provide more Arkansans with access to the vaccine.
The organization now giving out 5,000 vaccines a week with vaccination clinics in Washington and Benton counties, for those 16 and older.
NWA Council, Healthcare Transformation Division, Executive Director, Ryan Cork says appointments are highly encouraged for their clinics but walk-ins are welcomed. He says this option allows for more flexibility for people wanting to get the shot.
Cork says they also continue to work to finalize its mass clinic playbook for drive-in and walk-in clinics, so other groups who want to host a clinic have a model they can use.
Right now, they are getting regular shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, have clinics scheduled out and are really focusing on spreading awareness about the vaccine.
“It’s really the education and for patients to understand that this vaccine is safe. Please come out, please ask questions… We have nurses, pharmacist, on site each time. If you have questions around the safety of it, still come out. Make the appointment and ask that day,” said Cork.
The NWA council’s goal is to eventually expand its clinics to evening hours and into the weekend so that more people have an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get the shot.
Cork adds that so far they have not had an issue using its weekly allocation by the state. However, it does a have a plan in place to rollover unused doses to the next scheduled clinic, following state health guidelines.
Next clinic is set for April 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at J.B. Hunt Headquarters, Building C on 708 W. Apple Blossom Avenue in Lowell. Click here to register or sign up for other vaccination clinics.