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Guard holds COVID clinic

By Staff, 03/24/21 11:47 AM

PRESCOTT – Four members of the Arkansas National Guard will be at the Nevada County Health Unit the rest of the week administering COVID vaccines to the public.

Sgt. Dell Hall, with Charlie Co. of the 39th BSB, said the four of them are the vaccination strike force for the southwest region. The other three guardsmen are: Jakaal McNeely, Xachariah Hansen and Austin Hudson. The quartet brought 800 doses of the Johnson and Johnson variety of the vaccine to be given to the public. This is the one-and-done vaccine as only one dose is needed.

Hall said they were notified about the clinic last week and worked with the staff at the NCHU to set things up. The first day was Tuesday when they gave out around 80 doses. For the rest of the week, the COVID clinic will be from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Some didn’t show up for their appointment on Tuesday and those people were called during the Wednesday clinic. In addition, the crew accepted walk-ins to help protect the public from the virus.

Hall had nothing but praise for the NCHU, saying they’ve set the bar high for the other locations they’ll be going to, as the local staff has made sure they’re well fed. The team will be heading to El Dorado next week.

Debbie Henderson, administrator for the NCHU, said they’ve cooked for the guard, but local businesses have also helped. “We really appreciate them,” she said of the guardsmen, “they’ve been working hard.”

“You can tell this is a strong community,” Hall said, “by the way they’ve taken care of us.”

While all four are part of the 39th, they’re not from the same area. Hall and MCNeely are stationed in Lonoke, while Hudson is from Prescott and Hansen is stationed at Malvern. “This is the reason most people join the guard,” Hall said, “the community aspect. Having an opportunity like this, seeing the impact we make right offhand, it’s a good feeling.”

Henderson said there have been no problems with the guard using part of the building for a COVID clinic. The COVID clinic has been set up on the administrative side of the unit, away from the medical side.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, getting a vaccine is the best way to protect from severe complications due to COVID-19, and these vaccines are effective and have been studied rigorously for safety.

There’s still time to get an appointment for a COVID shot. This can be done by calling 1-800-985-6030.