Phase 1B begins in Arkansas; people 70 & older start getting COVID-19 vaccines


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – As of Monday morning, people 70 and older have started getting their vaccines at Medical Arts Pharmacy and as of Monday afternoon, the first round of teachers started getting their shots.

For Jacqueline King, this shot could not come soon enough. After learning Tuesday that she could get the COVID-19 vaccine sooner than expected, she signed up for hers right away.

“If we can play our part in slowing the spread then the next group will, and the next group will, and we can just get this done,” King said.

Julie Stewart is a pharmacist at Medical Arts Pharmacy and is starting her busiest week of vaccinations yet, with over 4,000 appointments scheduled in the last week from teachers, people 70 and older and the remaining healthcare workers in phase 1A who have not gotten their shots yet.

“We started to put people on a wait list because we wanted to make sure that we didn’t get too much booked before we knew what our supply would be,” Stewart said.

Despite moving up in line to get shots this week, it may take more than a week for new appointments. Stewart said the wait list is two to three months out.

While the pharmacy has enough shots to vaccinate people with an appointment this week, she said there is concern over having enough in the future.

“The pharmacists in the state are receiving around 10% of what’s requested,” Stewart said. “This next week is going to be a little trickier because we don’t believe we’re receiving any next week or if we do it’s gonna be a very small supply.”

This makes it more important than ever to get signed up early if you are older than 70, according to King.

“Oh it’s critical, it’s critical,” she said. “Just because of our age we can’t mix go to grandson’s ballgames and do all the things we normally do.”

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