Arkansas health officials offering vaccinations at high school football games

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WYNNE, Ark. — Arkansas health officials are hoping to help high schoolers and other football fans stay healthy during the pandemic.

Arkansas health leaders will turn Friday night’s football game into the site of a vaccination clinic as well. The goal is to get more shots into children’s arms.

“I think having vaccination events at football games and other places we know where adolescents and young people are going to be,” said Dr. Joel Tumlinson with the Arkansas Department of Health.

Health leaders will be at several football games throughout the state giving out vaccines, including at the Wynne and West Memphis matchup.

“Having events targeting them at a place like this, hopefully a young person who maybe is on the fence or a family isn’t sure and they’re starting to think about it will see other people their age, their friends getting vaccinated and decide to go ahead and do it,” Tumlinson said.

Doctors say vaccination rates among children have increased recently but there’s still a long way to go. State leaders report 14 percent of children 12 and older are partially vaccinated. Thirty-one percent are fully vaccinated.

With more children in the hospitals due to the Delta variant, doctors stress getting more children vaccinated is a priority.

“Of all the layers and strategies to prevent COVID19, vaccinations are the best one,” Tumlinson said. “It’s not perfect, none are perfect but it’s the single most effective preventative measure we have.”

It’s a measure that can keep everyone, especially those who can’t be vaccinated yet safe.

“The more protection we can provide around our younger children with the idea of cocooning with everyone around them being vaccinated, the less likely they are to be affected,” Tumlinson said.

State leaders say the Pfizer vaccine will be given at Friday night’s game that kicks off at 7 p.m. Parental consent is needed for minors.

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