JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Will this winter weather delay the timeline to administer the vaccine? That’s the question Region 8 News has been asking.
Many pharmacies around the area and Dr. Shane Speights, the Dean of the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at A-State, are optimistic about the next few weeks.
As old man winter slams the region, Dr. Speights says the state’s rollout plan will feel the effects.
“[The weather] impacts us being able to get the vaccines physically in arms,” Dr. Speights said. “But it won’t change how much vaccines the state’s actually getting.”
While the weather doesn’t seem to be impacting vaccine delivery, the volume of people getting vaccinated is down.
Many pharmacies, including Woodsprings Pharmacy in Jonesboro, are getting questions from those ready for their 2nd dose.
“We have 42 days from the first dose in order to get the second dose in,” Dylan Dulaney, Pharmacist at Woodsprings, said. “If they can make it here safely, we encourage them to do that, but if not, if you’re going to be late, it’s not the end of the world. There’s no reason to risk your life trying to get it on the exact day.”
That’s because the vaccine does have a shelf life of a few months. Daily Dose in Trumann says their current vaccine doses will not expire until July.
The Pharmacy at Brookland had a similar response when asked about shelf life.
Once this weather is behind us, Dr. Speights is optimistic the vaccine timeline will gain speed.
“As we get more vaccines to the state, we’ll be able to have large mass vaccination events,” Dr. Speights said. “You’ll have physicians’ offices that have vaccines; there’ll be more vaccines readily available.”
This as Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that the state would get almost 7,000 additional doses of the COVID vaccine per week from the federal government.
Arkansas is still in phase 1B of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, including those 70 and older, along with those in education and childcare.