NWA Health leaders ramp up vaccination efforts ahead of holidays


 NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) —Northwest Arkansas health leaders ramp up efforts to get the vaccine in people’s arms ahead of the holiday season.

Washington Region, Hospitalist, Dr. Michael Bolding, D.O. says if you want to be fully vaccinated by the holiday season the time to get your shot is now.

Over the next few weeks, NWA Council is partnering with local health systems to host over 60 vaccination pop-up clinics in Washington and Benton counties.

Bolding says last year hospitals saw an uptick in cases following the holiday gatherings in some cases multiple people from the same family. He says the difference this year is that folks have another layer of protection against the coronavirus, that’s the vaccine.

Now keep in mind, that for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine it takes a five to six week time period to get two-dose series and get the full protection.

When it comes to the Johnson and Johnson, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single dose.

“We do not want to experience what we experienced last January if at all possible. A lot of that falls on to the community and their vaccine acceptance rate and their behaviors during the holidays,” Bolding.

All you have to do is visit the NWA Council’s vaccine calendar to find a pop-up clinic near you. Registration is encouraged but walk-ins are accepted. Booster shots will also be available for those who are eligible. If you are under 18 you will need to come with an adult to get the vaccine.

Bolding says the goal is to provide folks with more access to the vaccine, so you will see pops up at local churches, the Bentonville farmer’s market and Walmart AMP during concerts, as well as a large-scale event at JB Hunt headquarters in Lowell, Friday.

Dr. Bolding is encouraging folks to do their part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus during the holiday season.

“If you are the matriarch or the patriarch of a family… and if you are going to host a gathering there’s nothing unkind or judgemental to say the folks who will be at the gathering will be vaccinated. That is just protecting your loved ones,” said Dr. Bolding.

He adds that if you aren’t vaccinated then you should wear a mask and social distance. Hosting your event outdoors can also help reduce the risks.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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