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Some Arkansans waiting for more single-dose Covid-19 vaccine before booking appointments



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— Some Arkansans are waiting to make Covid-19 vaccine appointments until they can find a clinic offering one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is making the message clear for those searching for easier Covid-19 vaccine appointments, “don’t wait.”

Health department officials say the state will be receiving increased shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but it could take a few weeks.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the ADH says now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being mass-produced and distributed, Arkansas will soon be receiving an increased shipment of one-dose vaccines.

“In the near future, a few weeks, we’re not quite sure, there will be more vaccines available to the state,” Dillaha told 5NEWS.

She says people show hesitation in receiving the two-dose vaccines, and some pharmacies are having trouble filling appointments.

“All three (Covid-19 vaccines) keep people out of the hospital and keep people alive if they catch Covid-19,” Dillaha said.

Local pharmacists are receiving multiple phone calls a day from people looking for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If their store doesn’t have it in stock, those eligible people will end the conversation without making an appointment.

Justin Boyd with Coleman Pharmacy in Alma says he does not currently have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in stock, and the supply has been limited. Boyd says he doesn’t want someone to delay their vaccine. There are too many risks involved.

“People need the vaccine sooner rather than later. The Pfizer and Moderna are good technology, and we have ample science to support their use,” he said.

Coleman told 5NEWS his pharmacy hopes to have the Johnson & Johnson shots available next week, but they don’t always know what they are getting.

With more vaccines coming to the state, Dillaha hopes that vaccine waiting lists will be a thing of the past.