Arkansas makes food plant workers eligible for vaccine

Arkansas News

FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 file photo, pharmacy technician Sochi Evans fills a syringe with a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Texas Southern University in Houston. Coronavirus cases are continuing to decline in the U.S. after a winter surge. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the country dropped below 100,000 on Friday, Feb. 12 for the first time since November 4. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is making workers at poultry plants and other food manufacturing facilities eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

Gov Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced the move, which will make the vaccine available to another 49,000 people in the state.

The announcement came as state health officials reported the first case in Arkansas of someone infected with the United Kingdom variant of the virus.

The Department of Health on Tuesday reported Arkansas’ virus cases rose by 440 to a total of 322,949 since the pandemic began.

The state’s COVID-19 deaths rose by four to 5,254, while hospitalizations dropped by 25 to 416.

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