MILLER COUNTY, Ark. (KSLA) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson commemorated the millionth Arkansan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, April 22.
The governor spoke at the Arkansas Department of Health at 11 a.m. Watch the full event below.
Hutchinson said the milestone means about one-third of Arkansans have received at least one COVID-19 shot, but the governor added that more work needs to be done.
“Where we are weak is that we have started to build up the inventory, and that is because we have ordered well. We have the supply here but the demand is slacking off.”
Lansdell Family Clinic in Texarkana is one of several vaccine providers in Miller County. Nurse practitioner Sam Nix said they have a lot of vaccine available but “... it is still not much utilization that we desire to have. We would like to see a whole lot more than that.
“We offer the Pfizer currently, although there are other brands just as effective.”
Nix said he believes fear of the vaccine has slowed down those getting the shots. “I think people have got to weigh their risk and benefit, what their age and medical conditions are.”
The Miller County Office of Emergency Management has sponsored a number of vaccination clinics. Officials there say they also have noticed a decline in people getting the vaccinations.
“Recent turnout has been really low,” said Joe Bennett, Miller County OEM director. “Some of the clinics that we established early on in March, the follow-up had less than half the people return.”
But even with the slowdown, he added, the overall results in Miller County appear to be good. “In February, we counted around 175 positive new cases every two weeks. And now we are looking at about 15-20.”
Bennett also noted that the numbers for Miller County might be a bit off since many residents got their shots across the state line in Texas before the vaccine was offered in Arkansas.