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Arkansas hits 1 million vaccinations, leads US in vaccine equity



One million people are now vaccinated for COVID-19 in Arkansas.

The state reached the milestone Thursday morning at the Arkansas Department of Health. With a quick prick of the arm, Sheryl Moore became the millionth person to get vaccinated in Arkansas.

“Number one million!” Gov. Asa Hutchinson exclaimed as he presented Moore with a pin. Moore is a student at Shorter College and represents an age group the state is eager to get vaccinated.

“I suggest they come get the vaccination to protect themselves,” she said. “Especially family members, sick family members. Getting the vaccine will actually help those members as well.”

The nurse giving Moore the shot was Sherian Kwanisai, who in December became the first person in the state to receive a vaccine.

“I’ve been out encouraging others to get the vaccine, so this just felt like a dream come true to give the millionth person their vaccine as well,” Kwanisai said.

Kwanisai said she wants to be an example.

“I was more than happy to be the first to show people this vaccine is safe,” she said. “It’s effective. It’s been tested.”

In a new vaccination report card from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas is ranked first for vaccine equity but falls behind on inventory. The governor said this is because of low demand.

Robert Ator, a retired Air Force colonel who’s overseeing the state’s vaccine distribution, said the state has always ordered the maximum amount of doses. But now that they have a larger supply, they’ll order fewer doses for Arkansas.

With today’s vaccine progress, about 33 percent of the state’s population is now vaccinated.

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