Mena Regional Health System’s first vaccine recipient, Dr. Swonger, received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccination as scheduled. He noted that he did not have any reaction or side effects of the first vaccine beyond some soreness in the arm around the injection site. He added, “I hope many in the community decide to get the vaccine as it becomes available.”  - Within the state of Arkansas, in Phase 1-A, 194,000 doses of the vaccine have been received to date, and have been administered to nearly 59,000 to health care workers, long-term care facility residents and staff.  EMS and law-enforcement officers and firefighters have also been included as first-responders. Phase 1-B, which is planned to begin Jan. 18  includes people who are at least 70 years of age, teachers and school staff, food and agricultural workers, firefighters and law enforcement that were not included in 1-A. It will also include manufacturing workers, grocery store employees, public transportation workers, child care workers, and essential workers in government, including legislators .Phase 1-C will include people at least 65 years of age, people ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, and a number of other categories. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Smith)

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