By Ray King

Phase 1-B of vaccinations for COVID-19 officially began in Arkansas on Monday and while Jefferson Regional Hospital has not moved into that phase yet, it plans to do so when more vaccine is available.

Hospital spokeswoman Erin Bolton spoke to Deltaplex News on Tuesdy.

Bolton said over 2,600 people have already signed up to get the shots when the vaccine is available.

She said Jefferson Regional started administering vaccinations to employees and first responders before Christmas and was able to vaccinate 831 people, and after the new year, those people came back to get their second dose

After receiving another 190 doses of the vaccine, Bolton said the hospital began giving shots to employees who weren’t there during the first phase, or who had initially rejected the vaccine but then changed their mind.

She also said the hospital has asked for more vaccine but didn’t know how much they would receive.

Bolton said when the next shipment arrives, people on the waiting list will be notified and the hospital is making plans to use other locations for mass vaccination clinics. Currently, First Baptist Church on Hazel Street and New St. Hurricane Church on Ohio Street have offered their facilities to host the clinics.