Hospital, pharmacy see increase in Covid-19 vaccine appointments
JONESBORO, Ark- St. Bernards Medical Center and the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy saw a dip in vaccine appointments but say they’re starting to pick up again by vaccinating dozens of people each day.
“We’ve seen a rapid rise in hospitalizations at St. Bernards Medical Center. But one positive side of this is we are seeing those vaccine numbers go up as well,” says Mitchell Nail, St. Bernards media relations manager. “So, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen it go up about three-fold.”
Nail says they are working to combat misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine.
The reason for the increase? St. Bernards is relocating the vaccine from its Covid clinic on Monday to offer it every day at their urgent care locations. And Parker Road and Matthews Avenue clinics.
“We knew that we had to make the vaccine more widely available more than just one day a week at a specific location. Those efforts we saw an additional probably 60 to 75 vaccinations,” Nail said.
Arkansas continues to rank among states with the lowest fully vaccinated residents at 35%.
The CDC is expected to announce that fully vaccinated people who live in “highly transmissible” areas should wear masks indoors.
Also seeing an increase in vaccine appointments is the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy on Southwest Drive in Jonesboro.
“I mean April and May we, kinda slowed down a little bit. Things got a little bit [re]laxed ya know. And even the testing that we do here. We weren’t seeing as many positives or anything. Here over the last two or three weeks, it’s definitely picked up a lot,” says pharmacist Jett Jones.
Jones says they have the supply to meet demand.
The Medicine Shoppe is averaging 50 to 70 Covid-19 vaccinations per day.
He credits the increase to a few reasons like the delta variant, accessibility, new information, and expanded age groups.
“A lot of questions take one-on-one conversations. Everybody’s situation is different. Everybody has different concerns about articles they’ve read here and there. We really encourage everybody to have that conversation with your pharmacist, with your doctor,” Jones says.
Those interested in getting a Covid-19 vaccine can book an appointment online through the Medicine Shoppe or St. Bernards's website.