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Pharmacies working hard to keep up with Covid-19 vaccine demands in Arkansas

As Phase 1-B of the Covid-19 vaccination plan starts Monday, local pharmacies are still working on getting people in Phase 1-A covered.

ROGERS, Ark. — As Phase 1-B of the Covid-19 vaccination plan starts Monday (Jan. 18), Arkansas pharmacies are still working on getting people in Phase 1-A covered. 

Andrew Mize, Debbie’s Family Pharmacy owner in Rogers, Ark., said their current waiting list to get a vaccine is at around 6,000 people.  

According to Mize, local pharmacies like his find out how many vaccines they will get for the following week just a few days before administering them. From there, his team sets up after-pharmacy-hours vaccine clinics to administer shots to people from the waiting list based on priority. 

The doses for Benton County are stored at a hospital facility in the area in special freezers. Once the pharmacies pick up the vials, they have a strict time frame of no longer than five days to use them.  

Mize said the amount of doses each pharmacy is provided weekly is just a small fraction of what they need to meet demand.  

“We only get around 200 doses, hopefully, a week, and the next couple of weeks is probably going to be even less just because there are fewer coming into the state,” Mize said.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas has received 275,000 Covid-19 vaccines and has distributed 133,962 of them. 

Mize predicts it will take 8-10 weeks to complete Phase 1-B at the current distribution rate. 

Like most local pharmacies that provide the Covid-19 vaccine, Debbie’s Family Pharmacy has an online sign-up process where you can get on a waiting list if you qualify for a vaccine.  

You can find a pharmacy near you offering the vaccine in Arkansas by visiting the story below. 

RELATED: Where to get COVID-19 vaccine in Northwest Arkansas & River Valley

The Arkansas Department of Health is asking for Arkansans to be patient as there are not enough vaccines available for everyone who wishes to be vaccinated. 

Arkansas reported 1,109 new Covid-19 cases in the state on Monday. As the winter continues, health experts warn of a surge in cases as states compete to obtain Covid-19 vaccines. 

RELATED: U.S. states under tremendous strain as daily COVID-19 deaths rise amid winter surge

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