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story.lead_photo.caption Pharmacist Daniel Cate with Market Place Pharmacy gives a covid-19 vaccine shot to resident Elizabeth Harthcock on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at Stonehaven Assisted Living Center in Maumelle. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Pharmacy staff in Northwest Arkansas are administering covid-19 vaccines to residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

Forty-nine residents at Butterfield Trail Village received the Moderna vaccine Wednesday, said Jay Green, administrator at the facility. About 50 residents live in its nursing home and assisted living areas and about 350 residents in its retirement community or independent living area.

Green said the independent living residents will likely receive the vaccine in about two weeks. They haven't yet received the vaccine because they don't fall under the state's guidelines for who should be vaccinated first.

The facility plans to vaccinate about 100 staff members Tuesday, Green said.

Long-term care facilities had the choice of using local pharmacies that are going through the state's vaccination program, Walgreens or CVS, the latter two are going through a federal program, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha at the Arkansas Department of Health has said. Many chose to partner with pharmacies they already use for annual flu vaccinations, she said.

Green said Butterfield chose to go through Fayetteville-based Collier Drug for the covid-19 vaccine because the facility receives flu vaccines from the pharmacy. The vaccinations went well with no hiccups, he said.

"They know our residents. We know them," he said.

Staff and residents have been excited to receive the vaccine, he said.

Five Butterfield Trail residents have died of the virus, according to the Health Department.

Staff and residents at Bradford House Nursing and Rehab in Centerton received the vaccine Tuesday. Staff from Springdale-based Premier Pharmacy Care administered the vaccine to 67 residents and 71 staff members, said Mike Wright, Bradford House administrator.

Some staff members came in on their day off to receive the vaccine. A few weren't able to get the vaccine because they are pregnant, he said. All but six residents received the vaccine.

"The atmosphere is positive. This is something we've been praying for," Wright said.

Six Bradford House residents have died of the virus, according to the Health Department.

Andrew Mize, pharmacist at Debbie's Family Pharmacy in Rogers, said the pharmacy received a shipment of 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday and hopes to vaccinate staff and residents at Legacy Village Assisted Living in Bentonville once it has the necessary consent forms.

Mize projected about 70 doses will cover all of the residents and staff at Legacy Village, leaving the pharmacy with about 130 doses that will likely be administered to staff at outpatient health clinics.

Walgreens began vaccinations in Arkansas this week, according to Kelli Teno, spokeswoman for the company. Walgreens wouldn't release details on where it had given vaccinations nor how many doses it had given.

Forty-five long-term care facilities in Arkansas selected CVS to administer vaccinations to a total of 8,300 staff and residents, according to Abby Major, spokeswoman for the company. Vaccinations began Monday and are expected to be completed in 12 weeks, according to Major. CVS would not identify the facilities.

The Moderna vaccines being given this week are long-term care facilities' first dose. The Moderna vaccine requires a second dose 28 days after the first ones.

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Fast fact

Benton County has 24 long-term care facilities and Washington County has 26.

Source: Arkansas Department of Human Services

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