Arkansas makes food plant workers eligible for vaccine

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In this Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 file photo, a pharmacist prepares a syringe with Pfizer’s vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination site in New York. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas is making workers at poultry plants and other food manufacturing facilities eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced the move. It will make the vaccine available to an additional 49,000 people in the state.

The announcement came as state health officials reported the first case in Arkansas of someone infected with the United Kingdom variant of the virus.

The Department of Health reported Arkansas’ virus cases rose by 440 to a total of 322,949 since the pandemic began. The state’s COVID-19 deaths rose by four to 5,254. Hospitalizations dropped by 25 to 416.

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