On April 1, 2021, city and health officials announced four mass vaccination dates that will be held at Simmons Bank Arena. The four dates are April 10, May 1, May 22 and June 12.
The cities of North Little Rock and Sherwood are collaborating with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Simmons Bank Arena, Pulaski County and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to work toward vaccinating Arkansans.
Speakers at the event included UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA.; North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick; Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman Young; Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde; Alicia Berkemeyer, executive vice president and chief health management officer at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Michael Marion, Simmons Bank Arena general manager; Maria Touchstone, English as a Second Language (ESL) director for the North Little Rock School District; Rev. William Robinson, pastor of First Baptist Church in North Little Rock.
“UAMS has been to cities and towns in every region of Arkansas with vaccinations and testing for COVID-19, but we don’t go alone,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “Working together with the state’s cities, counties, insurers and nonprofit organizations, we try to ensure that none of Arkansas’s 3 million residents will fall through the cracks. All of us want to maximize access to vaccines in as many ways as we can.”
Arkansans 16 or older are all eligible to receive vaccinations. Patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The clinics have the necessary tools to perform 1,000 to 2,000 vaccines each day of the mass vaccination schedule. Those receiving vaccines must wear masks the entire time they are at the clinic for precaution. Appointments can be made by calling (501) 526-2211 or at vaccinesignup.UAMS.edu/mobileclinic.
While there is no out of pocket cost to receive a vaccine on these dates, patients must bring a valid ID and insurance card if they have them.
Vaccines were distributed at the announcement to attending civilians. Those who did not receive a vaccine at the event were encouraged to sign up for one of the mass vaccination days.
“While there is reason for optimism, we need vaccination numbers to rise at a faster pace,” said Young. “We need to vaccinate more Arkansans so we can maintain that promising outlook and protect the public from this disease.”