Achor answers Covid vaccination questions
Guest commentary from Chad Garner, Moore on Maumelle plus sports and news headlines
Welcome to Arkansas Newsroom, a bundled newsletter covering news and sports in central Arkansas. For some answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
Subscribe to the site by clicking the button below …
Guest column by Chad Gardner
Each time I'm in Washington, I'm always drawn to the Capitol. I enjoy walking around the building and soaking up the history. It's truly The People's House. It's where we send our locally elected officials to debate and discuss issues that affect the lives of Americans. I have a great deal of respect for our country's traditions and it was painful to watch insurrectionists and seditionists attack the people's house. I was shaking with anger as the halls of the Capitol, where I've enjoyed standing, were being desecrated by those who want to see our constitution and rules of government tossed aside.
While the events of January 6 were horrific, our nation stood strong. This insurrection was quickly repelled and by nightfall our representatives were back in their chambers conducting the business of our nation and doing the will of the people. Americans elected Joe Biden in a free and fair election to serve as President for the next four years. Congress confirmed that election after they returned to their chambers and finished their constitutional duty to count the votes submitted by the states. While this day saw an attack on our nation's constitution, Democracy won and our Republic won.
Words matter. Integrity matters. Honesty matters. For the past four years, it's been difficult for me to watch the Republican party torn apart by an individual that is more interested in serving himself than serving others. I will always cheer for the President to succeed no matter who occupies that position. We should all want our government and our nation to be successful for the betterment of our citizens. On January 20, I will begin cheering for Joe Biden to succeed so we can move our country forward. When the President is looking after the best interests of our country and succeeds, we win. Sadly, that has not been the case in recent months and years.
2016 was the first election in my life I didn't cast a vote for President. I value my right to vote and seeing that empty blank as I submitted my ballot was difficult. I didn't support either candidate that particular year, but I couldn't cast my ballot for a man I felt was morally and ethically lacking. But, I'll support the office of the President and cheer for whoever holds that office to succeed in leading our country. I didn't vote for President Trump in 2020 for the same reasons as four years ago. The last two months and especially the last week have shown the country he's more interested in self than service.
For elected officials, service to country, state, or city, should be placed above service to a party. Those who are elected to represent the will of the people have been called to serve all of their constituents. Through their service, their words matter, honesty matters, and integrity matters. May we all strive to hold ourselves to a higher level of accountability and place service over self.
I hardly have words to describe what happened last week. Here are a few random thoughts:
Just ‘cause you say it, doesn’t mean it’s true: Never before in my lifetime have so many vitriolic false statements been accepted as truth without an ounce of evidence, proof or verification.
Freedom of Speech: Twitter and Facebook don’t have anything to do with freedom of speech or the First Amendment. The First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of speech pertains only to any limit by the government to silence you. Both Facebook and Twitter are private companies and when you sign up, you agree to their terms. They are not obliged to let you say anything you want on their platforms.
Cowardice: Trump called on his troops; he said he would be right there with them, but he didn’t show up. He went home to watch TV and threw his supporters under the bus. History will judge him harshly.
Traitor: Benedict Arnold will now be the second most famous.
Accountability: In order for there to be any sort of "closure" or calm, every person who stormed the Capitol must be punished accordingly.
Impeachment: The second impeachment of Donald is underway. He should participate personally because it won’t be his last trial. EDITOR’S NOTE: President Trump was impeached on Wednesday for the second time, becoming the first president to be impeached twice. The trial will now move to the Senate.
Taking a knee at an athletic event: Seems tame now, doesn’t it?
Complicit: There isn’t enough space to list all of those who took part in this travesty.
Guilt by association: Does this have any impact on the political aspirations of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Sarah Sanders and State Senator Trent Garner? Let’s hope so.
Awkward: Trump and Pence meeting.
Light at the end of the tunnel: First glimmer on Jan. 20.
Achor Sets up Vaccination Station
Achor Family Pharmacy has set up a vaccination center in a separate location across the street from their pharmacy at 2001 Club Manor Drive. According to their Facebook post, “We are excited to serve our hometown in a clean designated and socially distant facility as we work through the ADH Covid-19 Vaccine Groups!” They are scheduling by appointments only for Group 1A. Visit their website for more details and to sign up. More information on the groups at the Arkansas Department of Health website, www.healthy.arkansas.gov.
Brandon Achor does a Q&A with ArkansasNewsroom.com and you can read it by clicking here or scrolling down.
Maumelle Travel Time
The city has finally implemented the long-awaited adaptive traffic signal technology along Maumelle Boulevard in an effort to make drives smoother, according to a City of Maumelle Facebook post. We hope the new technology will allow traffic lights to adjust with actual traffic demand. It took a year of planning and work from city officials and employees, the post said. The new lights were installed to decrease delays, reduce travel time and cut down on emissions, according to the post.
My food find of the week is the Market Salad at Chick-fil-A. The Market Salad features grilled chicken, granola, raisins, golden seedless raisins, cranberries and a few strawberries. Send me your food find.
Kosuke Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi announced on Facebook they are closing indefinitely due to being “shorthanded,” according to their post.
Steaming Hotties has opened in North Little Rock just off the Morgan Maumelle exit across from the Kum & Go, 21505 Hwy. 365 N. They will serve specialty coffees and pastries. Their hours will be Monday-Friday 6 a.m. -1:30 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
You Live in a Hot Spot
The numbers are still rising, our people are still dying in record numbers. More young people and kids are getting sick. Don’t be numb. Don’t be dumb. Do the safe things. When you can, get the vaccine. You could save a life. Maybe your own.
“If You Don't Stand for Something, You'll Fall for Anything.” - Exact source unknown but heard in an Aaron Tippin song
See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore is a public relations consultant and resident of Maumelle. Send your Maumelle news or comments to email@example.com. Thanks to PJ and Mick.
Pharmacist Brandon Achor owns and operates Achor Family Pharmacy in Maumelle with his wife Kaley, who is also a pharmacist.
A former swimming instructor at the Jess Odom Community Center in Maumelle, he was born and raised here before going to the University of Arkansas, then Pharmacy School at UAMS.
He previously worked at Argenta Drug in North Little Rock and Lackie Drug in Lonoke.
Brandon Achor is the District 3 Representative for the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, also serves as Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network and received the Distinguished Young Pharmacists of the Year in 2019.
Achor Family Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in Maumelle to be selected as a site for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Achor was able to answer some questions about the process for the vaccine and a lightly edited transcript follows.
How was your pharmacy selected to be a vaccination site?
The initial roll out required vaccination sites to obtain Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Manufacturer-specific training on storage, product handling, direct data reporting to the Arkansas Department of Health, delivery and scheduling logistics, as well as provide a detailed Plan of Action for their respective community. We began working on these in late fall and our pharmacy was approved late December as a primary vaccinator for Maumelle and Pulaski County.
What is the process to get on the list to get the shot?
Currently we direct everyone to the "Covid19 Waitlist" on our website (www.achorpharmacy.com) As our inventory of vaccines allows, we reach out to schedule patients directly from the list based on Health Department established priorities.
When do vaccinations begin?
Vaccinations are currently underway and those who qualify for a vaccine are at the purview of the state government guidelines, they monitor how many individuals from the current lot have been vaccinated or offered to be vaccinated before moving to the next group.
How many doses will you be able to provide?
So far, we have been assigned 100 to 200 vaccines each week to budget the needs of our community, this is assessed weekly and is also at the purview of state authorities to adjust.
How many vaccinations will you be able to do in one day?
The important thing to remember is that this process is nothing like the flu shot, we are required to screen, vaccinate, reschedule for the second follow up dose, and monitor each person for 15 minutes following vaccination all while maintaining safe social distancing. Following these guidelines, we can safely vaccinate 50 to 60 people daily at our Achor Family Pharmacy Vaccination Center (2001 Club Manor Dr, Suite S). When we do our "off site" vaccinations at large facilities such as hospitals or school systems we can vaccinate 100-120 safely.
If you run out of vaccine, what is the process to get more?
Right now, and for the foreseeable future, the health department monitors our progress and needs daily and orders our weekly allotment on our behalf. Our state authority counterparts have been very responsive and adaptive to our community's needs and we are thankful for their continued open line of communication.
Will people have to pay to get the vaccine?
No, there is no charge to the individual receiving the vaccine. Most all insurances are readily paying for the administration fee and for those without insurance there is a federal billing program we have access to.
What would you tell someone who is hesitant about getting the vaccine?
That I understand and I am here to listen. I want people to decide to vaccinate because they feel confident in the support of their healthcare team, not just faith in the product itself. As the most accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists play a unique and intimate role in a patient's trust of the healthcare system and it is my responsibility to honor that level of accessibility and trust by meeting people "where they stand" on their reluctance with a goal of instilling confidence. The current data shows tremendous efficacy with now millions of safely vaccinated persons, but most importantly, it puts people in a position to now protect everyone they come in contact with as opposed to endangering everyone they come in contact with.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Please be patient. The complexities of these two-dosed vaccination regimens and reporting/scheduling of inventory are very nuanced. Every city or county has varying qualified populations and may work through certain groupings faster or slower than others. As we work through timing and budgeting Group 1A's second round of doses on top of opening up 1B and then 1C, etc, there will be hiccups in availability, however the safety and quality of care we deliver will be maintained.
Achor Family Pharmacy is located at 1900 Club Manor Dr., Suite 101, Maumelle. They can be reached by phone at 501-274-1130 and the hours there are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday they’re open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.