Those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in Ashley County will now have an opportunity to do so in only one dose.

That could be an important step in getting the population fully vaccinated, because state health officials said Tuesday that many people are not following up after getting the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

“We are starting to see increasing numbers of individuals who aren’t returning or have missed their second dose and we want them to please catch up on that,” said State Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero.

“It’s very important you become fully immunized with the vaccine.”

For those who have missed their second dose, Romero said they can call the health department’s vaccine clinic call-in center at 1-800-985-6030.

“Even if you miss your window, you can call the 1-800 number and we can tell you where to go,” he said.

The Ashley County Department of Health will host a mass COVID-19 clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 14 at First Baptist Church in Hamburg.

The clinic will offer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose. 

The Moderna vaccine, which is available at the Walmart Pharmacy and Gammel’s Clinic Pharmacy in Crossett, is fully effective when completely administered but requires two doses for full administration.

The doses will be available to anyone 18 or older on a first-come, first served basis, and will be provided without out-of-pocket expense for the recipient.

Those who have insurance cards should bring them to the unit.

“The three authorized COVID-19 vaccines have each undergone rigorous reviews that have proven them to be both safe and effective,” a health department spokesperson said. 

To learn more about the vaccines and the ADH vaccination plan, visit bit.ly/3mmoF1J

Ashley County Medical Center will also host a vaccination clinic for individuals from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 9 at the hospital’s 1015 Unity Road location in Crossett. Those who want a vaccination should call 870-632-7299 to secure an appointment. Vaccinations can also be scheduled online at bit.ly/3rwceB5

As of Tuesday, approximately 17.1 percent of people in the nine county southeastern hospital region were fully vaccinated, and approximately 13 percent more were partially immunized. Statewide, a total of 477,857 people — 20.12 percent of the population — were fully immunized, while another 357,280, 15.04 percent, were partially vaccinated. 

When examining the statewide rate of infection Sunday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the numbers were “encouraging.”

“The numbers continue to be encouraging. Our efforts to beat this virus are working, and we must continue to get vaccinated,” he said.

Tuesday saw Ashley County report a total of 17 active cases of COVID-19 — slightly down over the previous two weeks — and had 33 reported deaths since March 2020. The number of deaths in Ashley County has not moved upward in several weeks. As of Monday, Chicot County had only one active case, Bradley County had 12, Drew County had five and Union County had 16.

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