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COVID-19 vaccines: A step toward "back to normal"

Vaccination: a powerful weapon to help end the pandemic depends on you. Arkansas is finishing Phase 1-A of its coronavirus vaccination plan and is moving into the two categories of Phase 1-B. But this plan can only succeed in helping to end the pandemic if you do your part … and actually get vaccinated!

Who's included?...and when?

1st wave of Phase 1-B (which began January 19, 2021)

  • Arkansans aged 70 and older
  • Education (including childcare, K-12 and higher education)

2nd wave of Phase 1-B (after the first wave is sufficiently implemented)

  • Food/agriculture workers
  • Remaining firefighters (those not included in Phase 1-A)
  • Remaining police and correctional personnel (those not included in Phase 1-A)
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • Public transit workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Essential government workers

Can vaccinations end the pandemic?

Vaccines are a powerful part of the multi-pronged strategy to stop the pandemic – but only if enough people are vaccinated for our population to reach “herd immunity.”

And for the vaccines that are currently available (Pfizer and Moderna), two doses are needed, 2-3 weeks apart. If you skip one of these doses, the vaccine may not work.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

If you’re wondering whether you should get a COVID-19 vaccination, consider what the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says: The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.

Should I get vaccinated?

Most people are medically eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. If you’re in doubt, check with your healthcare provider first, to make sure.

What will it cost me?

Getting vaccinated will cost you nothing. The federal government is covering the cost of the vaccines themselves, but all health plans are required to pay for the cost of giving the vaccines – without requiring members to pay copays, coinsurance, deductibles, etc.

Where can I get vaccinated

  • At work — Check with your employer to see if they are planning anon-site vaccination clinic
  • Community pharmacies — Pharmacies throughout Arkansas are scheduling appointments

Will signing up at multiple places help get me vaccinated faster?

You should not sign up at multiple vaccination sites. This practice is causing confusion and overloading the staff at vaccination sites. Also, the vaccine is highly perishable, once it is unfrozen, so timing is important. If people schedule multiple appointments and do not show up, appointment scheduling could be thrown into chaos, and precious vaccine doses could be wasted.

Sources:
CDC: 8 Things to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program
Arkansas Department of Health: COVID-19 Vaccination Plan