NWA medical professionals plan for Biden’s open vaccine plan

Local News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — President Joe Biden has just announced that the next phase of his vaccination plan opens vaccine eligibility to every adult by May 1st. 

KNWA/FOX23 spoke with several pharmacists Friday, March 12, who gave ranging opinions toward the idea of open enrollment for vaccines.

Some felt it would be too much to handle, others such as Fayetteville’s Medical Arts Pharmacy, are open to the challenge.

“We were very excited when we heard the news because we are all for getting more people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Medical Arts Office Manager Leigh Smith.

Arkansas Department of Health’s Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said her worry with the plan isn’t manpower or long lines.

Dr. Dillaha said, “Of course, we would like to open up to everyone. But the question really is, ‘will we have sufficient vaccine to do that?’”

Dr. Dillaha is airing on the side cautiously optimistic about additional arriving in Arkansas.

“We feel if we don’t have sufficient vaccine opening up to everyone will create a lot of frustration. So we are going to have to be judicious and see if the vaccine is really there. We hope that it is, we want it to be,” said Dr. Dillaha.

If the vaccines are really there, pharmacies like Medical Arts will be ready to rock.

“We have been able to streamline processes which have been able to get more people in each day, so we have been able to increase our numbers more and more each day,” says Smith.   

Fayetteville’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marti Sharkey said her biggest concern is making a good dent in the at-risk population before the flood gates are opened. A goal that Dr. Dillaha says we should be able to accomplish.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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