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story.lead_photo.caption A vial of covid-19 vaccine is used Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, to vaccinate medical staff at the Northwest Health in Springdale. Frontline medical staff began receiving the vaccine. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe) - Photo by Andy Shupe

FAYETTEVILLE -- Some pharmacies in Northwest Arkansas are allowing people 70 and older to sign up for the covid-19 vaccine in light of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's announcement they can get vaccinated as soon as Monday.

The state has been vaccinating people in Phase 1-A, which includes health care workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities and some first responders such as emergency medical technicians and firefighters.

The state planned to begin Phase 1-B in February. Hutchinson announced Tuesday school teachers and staff members and people 70 and older, both groups in 1-B, may start receiving the vaccine next week.

Employees of several independent pharmacies said they received an influx of calls since the announcement.

Collier Drug, which has pharmacies in Fayetteville, Centerton, Prairie Grove and Farmington, hopes to begin offering the vaccine to people in phase 1-B next week, said Lauren Underwood, human resources manager. People who wish to get the vaccine should email [email protected] with their phase in the subject line and include their name, birthdate and phone number in the body of the email. People in 1-B who aren't yet eligible to receive the vaccine and people in phase 1-C can email Collier Drug to get on a waiting list.

People without email should call Collier Drug to sign up and specify they don't have email, Underwood said.

Other groups of residents in phase 1-B who will not yet be eligible to receive the vaccine include food and agricultural workers, manufacturing workers, public transportation workers, U.S. Postal Service workers and essential government workers.

Phase 1-C includes people ages 65-69, people ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions and people who work in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing, information technology, communications, energy, media, public safety and public health.

Debbie's Family Pharmacy in Rogers is also participating in vaccinating people in Phase 1-B sooner than expected. Pharmacist Andrew Mize said people may sign up through the pharmacy's website or call the pharmacy if they cannot access the website. However, the pharmacy is still vaccinating nursing home residents and others in Phase 1-A, and Mize asked people in Phase 1-B be patient. Anyone, regardless of what phase they fall under, can sign up to get on the pharmacy's wait list for the vaccine.

Teasley Drug in Gravette expects to administer some shots to people in 1-B beginning Monday, said Alisha Davis, pharmacy technician. People 70 and older or school staff members may make an appointment online or by calling the pharmacy. Teasley isn't keeping a wait list, she said.

Medical Arts Pharmacy in Fayetteville expects to give the vaccine to people 70 and older next week, said Julie Stewart, pharmacist. The pharmacy began taking a list of people 70 and older last week.

The state Department of Health updated its website -- http://healthy.arkansas.gov -- Tuesday evening with a list of pharmacies where vaccines will be available Monday for eligible residents.

School districts are coordinating with pharmacies to administer the vaccines to their staffs.

Kathy Launder, nursing supervisor of Springdale Public Schools, said the district sent a form to staff to indicate if they'd like to get the vaccine. An email from the district Tuesday evening said Community Pharmacy would be giving the vaccinations and employees can sign up for appointments on Jan. 20, 21 and 22.

Fayetteville Public Schools sent an email to staff Tuesday vaccines would be available at Walgreens, CVS, Collier Drug and Medical Arts Pharmacy.

Leslee Wright, Bentonville Public Schools spokeswoman, said the district was in talks with a local pharmacy to provide vaccinations to teachers and support staff.

"We anticipate having more details to share with our employees and the community later this week," she said.

Ashley Siwiec, spokeswoman for Rogers Public Schools, said the district will be working with a local pharmacy and more information will be forthcoming.

More News

Clinic for health care workers

Medical Arts Pharmacy will have a covid-19 vaccination clinic for health care workers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Fellowship Fayetteville, 3447 Arkansas 112. Patients should bring proof of health care worker status, insurance cards, driver’s license and a consent form. People may sign up at http://medartspharmacynwa.com/signup.

Source: Medical Arts Pharmacy

Alex Golden can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NWAalexgolden.

Print Headline: Pharmacies get set to vaccinate more residents

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