West Memphis hospital expecting COVID-19 vaccine Thursday

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – – Baptist Memorial Hospital in Crittenden County expects to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday. The Pfizer product is now making its way through Arkansas. Healthcare workers at NEA Baptist in Jonesboro were among the first to get vaccinated after nearly a thousand doses arrived at the facility Monday morning.

The Arkansas Department of Health says shipments of the vaccine will be sent to more hospitals and pharmacies across the state in the coming days. 

“This is monumental. I cannot say how important this is,” Arkansas Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero said, “We now have a way of dealing with this pandemic that we did not have before.”

Healthcare workers will be vaccinated first followed by first responders and residents in long term care facilities. Officials say it should be available to the general public by Summer.

“We’re just so pleased the vaccine has made it through all the clinical trials and the data has been reviewed and found that the vaccine is both safe and effective,” Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health said.

If anyone doubts that, she says the following.

“No one is going to force them to be vaccinated,” Dr. Dillaha said, “They can wait and learn about it and talk to people who have been vaccinated.”

In addition to the Pfizer vaccine the state expects shipments of the Moderna vaccine to start coming in next week. Both vaccines require two shots several weeks apart and health officials claim the vaccines are equally effective.

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