Demand for COVID-19 vaccines; pharmacies, clinics vs. mass vaccines

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The vaccine supply is increasing in Arkansas but Governor Hutchinson said the concern is now the demand.

Medical Arts Pharmacy Pharmacist Julie Stewart said there are more than enough people for the thousand doses they give each week.

The state began its mass vaccination clinics on Thursday, March 4, in each of the five public health regions in Arkansas.

But, this has not been the case with some mass vaccination clinics, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Monday, March 8, press conference.

“Over the weekend, we had some great mass clinics, but we noticed we did not have the demand we anticipated,” Hutchinson said. “Which indicates either people are getting the vaccines in different places, we are getting more of them covered or that there is some resistance to the vaccines.”

State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said leftover shots can be even more complicated at mass vaccination clinics.

“Once you enter that vial with the needle for the first time you have six hours to use all of those doses,” Dr. Dillaha said.

While pharmacies, such as Medical Arts, have a waitlist of people willing to come to get any shots leftover within a few hours, Dr. Dillaha said this is not the case for mass vaccination clinics.

Governor Hutchinson said he is opening up all of phase 1B for the shots now to keep the demand for vaccines up across the state.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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