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Governor opens vaccine eligibility to include Arkansans in 1-C

by NWA Democrat-Gazette | March 16, 2021 at 2:55 p.m.
September 15 - State records 1,000 Covid-19 deaths - - - Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks Tuesday Sept. 15, 2020 in Little Rock during a covid-19 briefing at the state Capitol. See more photos at arkansasonline.com/916governor/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that vaccine eligibility will expand to include everyone in category 1-C, effective immediately.

Hutchinson said during his weekly covid-19 update that the eligibility expansion is due in part to the White House’s emphasis on making all Americans to be eligible by May 1. The administration has committed to increasing production, Hutchinson said, though the governor reminded Arkansans that vaccines are still limited at this time.

The eligibility now includes Arkansans ages 16 to 64 with health conditions that increase their risk to covid-19, as well as essential workers in areas that include energy, finance, food service, law, and media.

[VACCINE INFO: Latest on covid-19 vaccines in Arkansas, U.S » nwaonline.com/coronavirus/vaccine/]

“There has been some slowdown in parts of the state on the demand side, particularly in rural areas, which we have to overcome” Hutchinson said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 265,115 Arkansans are partially vaccinated and 303,823 or 10% of the state’s population are fully vaccinated, he noted.

Of Arkansans 65 years or older, 55.3% have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 27.2% of the age group are considered fully vaccinated, Hutchinson said.

Arkansans can call 1-800-985-6030 for appointment information.

CORRECTION: Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the expansion on Tuesday. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the day of the announcement.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to view » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXY-1py_518]

This story was originally published at 1:57 p.m.

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