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Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that all individuals included in Phase 1-C of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan can now receive the vaccine.

Phase 1-C includes essential workers in energy, finance, foodservice, information technology and communications, the legal field, media, public health and human services, public safety, shelter and housing transportation and logistics. It also includes Arkansans ages 16-64 with health conditions that increase their risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms. 

People living in high-risk settings are also eligible, including those who are incarcerated or detained and those living in group homes, congregate settings, crowded housing or student housing like dorms and Greek houses.

The decision comes after President Joe Biden announced that his administration's goal is for every American to be eligible for the vaccine by May 1. While demand remains high in urban areas of Arkansas, it has begun to slow down in rural areas, Hutchinson said.

“There is a lower acceptance rate for the vaccine in the rural areas of our state, which we have to overcome in those environments,” Hutchinson said. “We get the supply there, but in many instances we've had a low acceptance rate.”

Although eligibility is expanded, it might be difficult to secure an appointment because of limited supply, Hutchinson said. 

All UA community members included under Phases 1-A, 1-B or 1-C are now eligible to make vaccine appointments at Pat Walker Health Center, according to the Division of Student Affairs. Patients can make an appointment through the Patient Web Portal on the Pat Walker website.  Proof of eligibility is required.

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