COVID-19 vaccine demand spiking in Arkansas


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA ) – The Natural State has seen an uptick of people getting the vaccine as concerns over the delta variant grow.

Col. Rob Ator, program manager of the state’s vaccine deployment, said the increase in vaccinations during July was significant.

“Over four weeks, we’ve seen a 300% increase in demand,” Ator said.

One month ago, Arkansas was averaging around 27,000 new doses per week. As of Thursday, the state is now giving out about 90,000 doses weekly, according to Ator.

The delta variant combined with more widespread access to the vaccine is contributing to the increase.

“What you see is fear of the delta variant, and the reality is that people are scared,” Ator said.

Full approval from the Food and Drug Administration of COVID-19 vaccines could also contribute to the increase in vaccinations. President Biden said last week Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be given full FDA approval by early fall.

“I think once you have a fully authorized vaccine, people are going to go, okay now I trust it, Ator said. “I hear that anecdotally.”

However, Ator also said full approval won’t convince all Arkansans who are hesitant about getting the shot to get a dose.

“There is a certain percentage of the population that I don’t think there’s much we can do to get them to change their minds on this,” Ator said.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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