Arkansas will be securing more vaccine doses from the federal government in coming weeks, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. During his weekly COVID-19 press briefing, Hutchinson announced that President Joe Biden’s administration has committed to providing millions of more doses to states each week.
During a call with state governors, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said that the federal government would be shipping 13.5 million doses per week to states. According to White House officials, this accounts for a 23 percent increase from the previous week’s shipment and a 57 percent increase from the week of Biden’s inauguration.
In addition, the White House is doubling the number of doses that will be shipped directly to pharmacies. The Biden administration is expected to send 2 million doses this week.
Hutchinson said that the new shipment will add 2.5 million doses to the national supply that is allocated to individual states. “This is the largest weekly increase yet of vaccines since our vaccine program was started,” Hutchinson said.
He expects Arkansas to receive approximately 6,000 to 7,000 doses. Currently, these doses have not been received. “We are expecting to receive those doses either this week or next week in terms of that increase,” he said.
Hutchinson also noted that he expects to see Walmart receive a greater supply of vaccine doses. While he said that extreme weather conditions had interrupted some of the vaccination efforts, Hutchinson insisted that Walmart was “making great progress.” Supermarket News reported that more than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy locations in 22 states, including Arkansas, have been distributing vaccines as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been a total of 71,657,975 doses delivered in the United States with 55,220,364 doses administered. Of these doses, 39,670,551 individuals have had one or more doses, while 15,015,434 individuals have had two doses.
In Arkansas, 719,000 doses have been received as of Tuesday, Feb. 16. There have been a total of 481,511 doses administered to date.
Last week, during a visit to the National Institutes of Health Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory in Maryland, Biden announced that he planned to secure a total of 600 million doses, enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans, by the end of July.