Arkansas governor announces ages 16+ eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

ARKANSAS — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at a press conference Tuesday that ages 16 and over are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccines.

This new update is effective immediately.

You can call 1-800-985-6030 to make an appointment.

Hutchinson said this offer is after President Joe Biden wanted all adults over the age of 16 to have the ability to get vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19.

West Memphis mayor Marco McClendon echoed the sentiments shared by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Tuesday.

“I just think that being able to allow someone 16 and older, especially if they have an underlining illness, to get it, I think that’s a major move on our part,” McClendon said.

Hutchinson said this gives as many people as possible the chance to get the shot.

1,662,850 doses have been distributed across Arkansas.

There have been 769,106 first doses given and 407,828-second doses given throughout the state.

McClendon said this isn’t just big news for West Memphis.

“With West Memphis being a tri-state, we can walk to Memphis, just several miles away from Mississippi, so actually what happens in Memphis, Tennessee, or in Mississippi is affecting us because all three states intertwine at one time,” he said.

Hutchinson also lifted the mask mandate, although restaurants and other businesses can decide on their own requirements.

McClendon said the governor should have waited at least another month to make this move.

Even with numbers improving and increased vaccine eligibility, he said West Memphis residents should still be vigilant.

“Right now, we not at the woods even though our numbers are decreasing,” he said. “I’m very encouraged by that, but I just think that right now, this is not the time to lose the mask. I just think the people of our city need to understand that.”