Gov. Hutchinson says Arkansas has doses of COVID-19 vaccine ready for children ages 5 to 11

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark (KNWA/KFTA) — Children ages 5 to 11 in Arkansas will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says most state Department of Health units already have vials of the doses.

While he says the state will not mandate shots for this new age group, he’s urging parents to consider vaccinating their kids.

“This is something that is a parental decision for their children,” Hutchinson said. “We encourage it, we encourage that discussion and to get the right information and to talk to your physician.”

“These children should be considered for vaccination. They bore a big part of the brunt of number of cases that we saw in this summer surge due to delta,” Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said.

Hutchinson said the initial doses will be given through the local health units and the ‘Vaccines for Children’ providers.

At Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Dr. Jessica Snowden said the plan is to give out as many shots as possible as soon as possible. She said this could begin as early as Wednesday.

“We’ve got plans in place both here in Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock to make sure we’ve got vaccines we can give here, as well as making sure we’re partnering with our community partners and our partners at UAMS to make sure we get them not just to kids in our primary hubs, and as quickly as we can over the next couple of weeks.”

People wanting to get their child vaccinated can make an appointment through a state health unit or a local pediatrician.

The state’s COVID-19 call center can be contacted by calling 1-800-803-7847.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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