By Dr. Mark Attwood, Cleveland County Health Officer
The Rison Pharmacy will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine soon. The vaccine doses are being shipped directly from the supplier. The Arkansas Department of Health has authorized pharmacies to immunize all the individuals whose place of employment fall under the prioritized groups listed below. The first phase to be considered is Phase 1-A. This group consists of workers in a high priority health care setting, Long Term Care residents and Long Term Care staff, along with high priority first responders.
Please keep in mind, as Arkansas moves forward with the vaccination process, the timeline and eligible groups may vary as the vaccine supply or medical needs change.
If you are a resident of Cleveland County, Arkansas and think you may qualify in the categories listed below under Phase 1-A, please call Rison Pharmacy at (870) 325-6262 and ask for Anna or leave a message with your name, place of employment and a good number to contact you. A standard consent form is required prior to receiving your vaccination. You may receive the form at The Rison Pharmacy or you may find it on the Rison Pharmacy Facebook page. You may also find updates related to the vaccine on the Facebook page. The pharmacy will strictly follow ADH & CDC guidelines. ID and proof of employment will be required when you receive your vaccine.
The Individuals in priority group 1-A include the following:
- Primary Care: (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics)
- Occupational Health
- Urgent care
- Any health worker performing COVID-19 testing or COVID-19 vaccinations
- University Health Center
- School Nurses: K-12 health
- Program for Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) workers
- Home Health, Private Care/Personal Care
- Blood Donation Center Workers
- EMS patient transport/first responders: paramedics, EMT, fire, and police
- Health professions students working in priority groups above
- Hospital workers not yet vaccinated by their hospital
- Long-term care consultant pharmacists
- Long-term care staff not yet vaccinated by their facility
- Long-term care survey and certification staff not yet vaccinated by their facility
- Specialty physician/APRN clinics (Cardiology, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Nephrology, Neurology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Pain Management, Pulmonology, Radiology, Urology, and other specialties not yet vaccinated.
- Advance Practice Nurses (APRNs) (if not already vaccinated)
- Athletic Trainers
- Behavioral Health
- Health professions students (if not already vaccinated)
- Lab technicians (if not already vaccinated)
- Medical assistants (if not already vaccinated)
- Mortuary service providers, coroners, and medical examiners
- Nurses (if not already vaccinated)
- Occupational therapy
- Organ transplant/procurement centers
- Physical therapy
- Physician assistants (if not already vaccinated)
- Respiratory therapy
- Social workers (if not already vaccinated)
- Speech therapy
- Workers needed to transport patients to health care facilities and provider appointments
- Any other health workers and support staff in health work sites such as clerks, receptionists, and janitors at risk of COVID-19 infection.
**NOTE: Health care workers include both health care professionals and other workers who work in health care settings (Ex., receptionists, technicians, clerks, janitorial staff).
Phases 1-B and 1-C will follow once the initial phase is complete. Individuals who are front line, essential employees, individuals who are 65 and over and others who have high risk medical conditions (16 to 64 years of age) will be prioritized into groups under phases 1-B and 1-C.
Those groups will be finalized closer to the completion of the first phase.
If you would like to be placed on a list for an appointment during phase 1-B or 1-C, feel free to fill out a consent form, located at the pharmacy or on the pharmacy Face book page, or call Anna at the pharmacy. At this time, Rison Pharmacy will be able to vaccinate persons who are 18 years of age and over.
I join our pharmacy staff in wishing we could accomplish this faster. We wish everyone could have a vaccine right now. Unfortunately, due to the available supply, we will all need to follow the phases set forth by the ADH and the Governor while we roll this out in Arkansas.
Please take advantage of this opportunity. Along with all the other safety measures, the vaccine is necessary for us to get through this. For our kids to receive a better education, our businesses to stay in business, for our health care system to survive, and most importantly to save the lives of many Arkansans, we all need to do our part.