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Hope Kiwanis Hears Program on COVID From Laura Beth Martin

By Staff, 06/22/21 2:19 PM

The Hope Kiwanis Club heard from local pharmacist Laura Beth Martin on Tuesday.  Martin, a pharmacist at Express RX in Hope, gave an update on COVID.  She said Arkansas is 49th in the distribution of vaccines and 33% of the state is fully vaccinated.  Martin recently took a break from retail pharmacy and she talked about her experiences in a long-term care facility.  In this facility she got to see firsthand the effects of COVID on some patients.  She encouraged anyone concerned about the vaccine to talk to their healthcare professional or pharmacist.

Martin said comparing COVID to the flu is not accurate.  She noted it is 3 and a half times more contagious than the flu and the mortality rate is over 3 times that of the flu as well.  Martin also talked about the long-term effects of COVID.  She said she’s seen middle-aged people who are on oxygen due to COVID who will require it for the foreseeable future and seen people who are totally disabled after their bout with COVID.  Martin said every patient that has it has the possibility of having lingering effects from the virus.

The vaccines are up to 95% effective says Martin.  She seems to think boosters will be required for all those who have been fully vaccinated.  She encouraged all who haven’t been vaccinated to seriously consider it. Martin said so far the vaccines have been effective against the variants of the virus.

Hempstead and Nevada County have seen an uptick in numbers of confirmed cases in recent days.  After a high over the weekend of 39, Hempstead County was at 33 confirmed cases Tuesday and Nevada was at 29 cases.  That compares to zero for Lafayette, 10 for Little River, 21 for Miller, 13 for Sevier, 2 for Howard County, 3 for Pike, and 12 for Columbia.