FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Pharmacies in Northwest Arkansas have seen an upward trend in people lining up for boosters; Medical Arts Pharmacy says the Omicron variant and holiday gathering both have a hand to play.
“We’ve seen a lot after the holidays because that’s when that news first came out. So between the holidays and people hearing about the variant, we’ve had a pretty steady stream of people,” says Col. Robert Ator, director of the states vaccine rollout.
Ator says it is not just Northwest Arkansas seeing a spike in vaccines; it’s a trend we’re seeing statewide.
“I think on Saturday we saw about 5000 doses, and on Sunday we saw about 3700 doses, which is very good,” says Ator.
But it’s not only the boost in boosters which Ator describes as encouraging.
“What we are seeing also is those first dose administrations those rates are increasing as well,” says Ator.
Of those who are fully immunized, 24% are boosted. Ator says he wishes this percent were higher. But, with the recent uptick in vaccines, he believes we’re headed in the right direction.
“I would be more than happy to help push people to get their boosters because that’s what’s going to help us get through the winter surge that we normally see with viruses,” says Ator.
Medical Arts Pharmacy and Ator agree, being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against omicron, but Julie Stewart with Medical Arts reminds us there is still a whole bunch we need to learn.
“Before we get too scared or too concerned or start worrying about the vaccine on whether it’s working or whether it’s not, we need more information,” says Stewart.
To qualify for a booster dose, you must have had your last dose at least six months before.