ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The Centers for Disease Control heeded a panel of independent experts’ recommendation that health care workers should be first to get the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by nursing home residents.
The recommendation was made on Tuesday, December 1 and it was a 13-1 vote in favor of giving health care workers, followed by long-term care residents the vaccine, once it is approved for public use.
This panel, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is chaired by Arkansas’ Department of Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero.
There is another step in the process before the vaccine goes forward, and it’s that of the CDC Director’s approval, Dr. Robert R. Redfield. If he agrees with the decision, then the states can make preparations to receive the vaccines — possibly as soon as mid-December, but that’s contingent on the Food and Drug Administration approval.
As of Tuesday, December 1, Arkansas has more than 1,000 people hospitalized for the virus and nearly 200 on ventilators, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. The counties with the highest case counts are: Pulaski (178), Benton (171), Washington (140), Saline (101) and Green (92).