ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. José Romero did not mince words at Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, “this pandemic is not under control.” He recommended for Arkansans to reassess holiday plans this year and to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation of “no non-essential travel even within the state.”
Additional Guidelines, per Dr. Romero:
- Limit the individuals with whom you congregate, including family members.
- For all indoor activities, people should have a mask in place even if you know the individual’s home you’re going to.
Even with a vaccine in place, it is important for people to still follow health recommendations: wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance.
Monday morning, December 14, the first round of the Pfizer vaccine sent to Arkansas was about 25,000 doses. Eighteen of the larger hospitals received direct shipments, and five pharmacies received shipments that are being used to vaccinate staff at smaller hospitals around the state, according to the Arkansas Department of Health’s Public Information Director Gavin Lesnick.
Arkansas will continue to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is for those 16 years and older. By next week, the state will also have the Moderna vaccine, which is for ages 18 years and older.
When it comes to getting vaccinated, safety has never been compromised, said Dr. Romero. “Development and safety have been paramount [by the] pharmaceutical companies, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC.”
Romero said for those who get vaccinated they can expect fever, swelling of the arm and soreness.
CDC COVID-19 VACCINATION FACTS
- COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
- COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
- People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
- Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
- Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
The ADH has a two-phased vaccination plan. Phase 1, when limited doses are available, will have three priority groups:
- 1A: health care workers, long-term care residents, and other health care workers/first responders.
- 1B: Essential workers will be vaccinated through community pharmacies and medical clinics.
- 1C: Persons at increased risk for severe disease will be vaccinated through community pharmacies and medical clinics.
Phase 2 kicks in when a large number of doses will be available. This means the general population will be allowed to get vaccinated.