ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson has been frustrated with the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state, but he and state health care leaders think it’ll speed up in the coming days.
There’s a challenge anytime you try to put a new system in place to vaccinate.GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON, ARKANSAS (R)
Arkansas has used a little less than 30-percent of the vaccines it’s been given, but both Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health say a lag in data reporting is to blame for how we’ve received more vaccines than we’ve vaccinated.
“Partly it’s because there’s a three-day delay in the imputing of the information,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) said there is a 72-hour window after vaccines are given by hospitals or pharmacies before those numbers have to be reported to the ADH, which causes the lag.
Dr. Dillaha also said the state is trying to work with some entities to help them find ways to transmit their data electronically.
“We have some bugs to work out,” she said.
Dr. Dillaha said hospitals are close to using up all their shots and she expects pharmacies to follow suit once they get their vaccines this week.
I think that the data lag is causing people to misperceive that the vaccine is not being deployed.DR. JENNIFER DILLAHA, STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ADH
Nursing homes have been a different story.
Dr. Dillaha said this is due to many factors including getting consent forms and training staff.
“It’s not like things aren’t happening, they just take longer,” Dr. Dillaha said. “They are moving forward.”
Gov. Hutchinson said the goal is to have everyone in Phase 1-A vaccinated by the end of January.
While the state is hopeful with more Arkansans being vaccinated, Gov. Hutchinson said the month of January is going to be a rough one — especially as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise after the holidays.
It’s going to be a strain on our hospitals, and so people have to continue to wear a mask, stay socially distant, and not just simply rely on a vaccine that’s down the road, we have to be cautious and careful now.GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON, ARKANSAS (R)
Stay with KNWA/FOX 24 as we continue to follow where the state is with vaccinations.