Many essential workers celebrate as AR expands vaccine eligibility list

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Many essential workers are celebrating after Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that all of category 1-B is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

Governor Hutchinson said the state must keep demand for the vaccine up, “In order to do that we’re continuing to open up the new categories.”

He also cited low turnout at vaccine clinics in the state, specifically one in Jonesboro he attended over the weekend.

“It did surprise me last week that we did have that gap and that’s why we wanted to move quickly on the first thing this Monday to open up all of 1-B,” said Gov. Hutchinson.

Eric Herget owns Heights Corner Market and has 15 employees. He says grocers across the state are excited to finally be eligible to take the vaccine.

“We needed this, you gotta keep in mind, our employees have been first responders in a way because we’ve been on the frontline the entire time and everybody is excited to have this chance,” said Herget.

He said that he already has appointments for all of his employees set for Wednesday. 

Herget said he is surprised none of his store employees have contracted COVID-19, especially being on the frontline of society during the pandemic. 

His store has been able to better manage social distancing due to it being a smaller grocer. He said many bigger grocery stores have done the best they can also to keep employees safe while still providing for the public.

He said the COVID-19 vaccine will be the best possible way to prevent spread within the walls of Heights Corner Market and any other grocery store in Arkansas.

“It’s a good day for us to be up and we can get our vaccine.” said Herget.

Those who are now eligible for the vaccine now include:

  • All food and agriculture
  • People with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities
  • Essential Government (includes legislators and their staffs and certain court staff as determined the most needed by Chief Justice Jon Kemp)
  • Grocery Store/Meal Delivery
  • Postal and package delivery service
  • Public Transit
  • Houses of Worship
  • Manufacturing

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