One year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccines available in Arkansas

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – It has been exactly one year since the Covid-19 vaccines first made their way into Arkansas.

State epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said we have come a long way since this time last year, but we are still no where near where we need to be to reach herd immunity. Right now, we are around 52%, and to reach herd immunity Dr. Dillaha thinks Arkansas really needs to be at 80%.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in Arkansas for vaccinating our population,” said Dr. Dillaha.

On this one year anniversary of vaccines making their way to Arkansas, state epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said it is still going to take some time until we reach herd immunity.

“In the beginning, it was very high demand and not enough vaccine,” said Dr. Dillaha. “Now, we have plenty of vaccine for everyone who would choose to be vaccinated.”

In Tuesday’s press conference, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Arkansas gave 3.6 million doses to 1.8 million Arkansans in the first year of the Covid-19 vaccination program.

“Much more work to do but that’s a progress report over the last year,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero agrees this is still no where near where we need to be as a state.

“This last year we’ve had 3,045 deaths,” he said. “If we take into consideration that conservatively 70-80% of those deaths could have been prevented if they were vaccinated. We need to get our population fully vaccinated.”

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