COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Through Fort Smith

Kenny Doan

Last month, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was released around the United States, and has reached Arkansas. Arkansas since then planned a three-step phase to vaccinate as many people as possible while giving the vaccine to people who need it first. On December 14th of the previous year, they passed by Phase 1-A to vaccinate all healthcare workers, first responders, and students currently studying within the health centers. Just recently, Phase 1-B has started to vaccinate the vulnerable population, teachers, school staff, and essential government workers. Phase 1-C is soon to start in April for those 65 and up, people with high-risk medical conditions, and those who are working to ensure people get the essentials they need during the pandemic. 

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has since then continued with the phases and soon after the phases are completed, the COVID-19 vaccines will be available to the general public. Long-term care residents or staff members have since then received the vaccines through a clinic at the facility or hospital. Others qualified in the Phase 1-A stage can also receive the vaccines through pharmacies by appointment. Those who are 70 and older can make an appointment at community pharmacies. Currently in Fort Smith, the vaccine is being distributed around local Mercy hospitals and the Ben Geren Park Tornado Shelter by appointment. 

So now–what’s next? Though the vaccine could stop the spread of COVID-19, it is still important to continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, and be socially distanced even if we are still vaccinated. Not only we are protecting ourselves, but we are also protecting those around us in our lives. Soon, the vaccination will come to the general public. If you know those who are qualified to be vaccinated, be sure to check to find resources on where to find the nearest pharmacy to have someone vaccinated. It is important to be sure to only contact one provider to schedule an appointment to have you or someone qualified to get vaccinated.