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Governor Hutchinson announces Arkansas children ages 12 to 15 can receive COVID-19 vaccinations



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in his weekly media briefing Tuesday he is opening COVID-19 vaccinations for Arkansas children ages 12 to 15.

The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized by the FDA for children ages 12 to 15.

Hutchinson said the state is waiting on guidance from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee before this is started, but providers can start giving the Pfizer vaccine to children aged 12 to 15.

To book an appointment, call 800-985-6030.

According to the governor, 47.2% of Arkansas adults have received one COVID-19 vaccine.

There are 233 new COVID-19 cases and six additional virus-related deaths in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

According to ADH, 9,046 COVID-19 vaccines have been given out in the last 24 hours.

Hutchinson said active cases have been down two days in a row.

Hutchinson announced last week that the weekly COVID-19 news conferences would end and be replaced by a briefing that will discuss various topics.

The governor also announced Tuesday he is signing an executive order that will set up the American Rescue Plan Steering Committee. The committee will be 14 people, eight cabinet officials, three members of the House and three members of the Senate.

The first meeting will be Wednesday, May 19 at 3:30 p.m.

The committee will decide where the $5 billion that is expected to come to the state will go.

The state government will receive $1.5 billion. According to Hutchinson, the state will get half of the $1.5 billion first, then the other half in a few years.

The governor said some states are getting more first, but Arkansas’s economy has recovered quicker than others.

Hutchinson said the state needs to do a good job of planning where the money goes and wants the community engaged in this.

Calling the funds a “unique opportunity,” Hutchinson said the priority should be capital investments because once the money runs out, it’s gone.

Hutchinson said he doesn’t believe that we should start programs with this money because it will run out.

The governor said the state has until December 2024 to spend the money.

Hutchinson said he expects to see refugees from the border come to Arkansas, but he doesn’t know when and where.