LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Beginning this Wednesday, Aug. 4, Baptist Health Urgent Care centers will begin offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to people 18 years of age or older. The free vaccine is offered each Wednesday at the ten urgent care locations.
The urgent care centers are open seven days a week and are located in Beebe, Benton, Bryant, Cabot, Fort Smith (two locations), Jacksonville, Little Rock (two locations) and North Little Rock.
COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Arkansas, as new day-over-day cases topped 2,544 in the past seven days. Most of these cases are the highly contagious Delta variant. Since the pandemic began, there have been more than 6,100 deaths due to COVID-19 in Arkansas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 45.5 percent of Arkansans are fully vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are increasing in Arkansas,” said Matt Browning, MD, chief medical officer for Baptist Health Urgent Care. “Getting vaccinated is of great importance to achieve a safe immunity level for our state. Our realistic goal is to help the communities we serve reach 80 percent full vaccination for those who are eligible.”
Anyone who has had a previous COVID-19 infection is still urged to get the vaccination. Those who had an infusion of plasma or monoclonal antibodies should wait 90 days.
COVID-19 vaccinations at Baptist Health Urgent Care are only offered on Wednesdays at this point. The vaccine is free to anyone. If a patient has insurance, the center will file his or her insurance company; however, there will not be a charge to the individual.
“Viruses constantly change or mutate and several of the currently-known variants are concerning,” Browning emphasized. “Increased vaccinations will lower the chances of further mutations. Our current vaccines have shown to have a good level of protection against some variant strains of COVID-19. It is possible there will be future booster shot down the road – just like the annual flu shot; but the best protection for now is to get the current COVID-19 vaccination.”
The Moderna vaccine requires two doses to achieve maximum effectiveness. At the time of the first dose, Baptist Health Urgent Care patients will receive a card with their vaccine information on it, as well as a date and time to return for their second dose.
After each dose, patients will be monitored for at least 15 minutes to watch for any adverse reactions. It takes approximately two weeks after the second vaccine dose for the body to build full protection, or immunity, against the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Baptist Health Urgent Care is proud to join the ongoing vaccination effort,” Browning said. “Helping our communities stay healthy remains our top priority and providing a convenient location for our neighbors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is an important step in helping everyone get back to normal – including being able to travel and enjoy a summer barbeque with friends and family.”
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at protecting against severe illness caused from the virus. Possible side effects are minimal and may, but not necessarily, include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site and tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, and potentially fever and nausea.
“Any side effects are normal signs your body is building protection – and some people do not experience any side effects,” Browning explained.
It’s important to note that the vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The Moderna vaccine met the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected.
The CDC recommends delaying use of over-the-counter medications until after you receive your vaccine, and only if you have symptoms that need treatment.
For more information or to sign up for the vaccine, visit BaptistHealthUrgentCare.net.
About Baptist Health Urgent Care
Baptist Health Urgent Care, with ten locations in Arkansas, is a joint venture between Baptist Health and Urgent Team Family of Urgent Care & Walk-in Centers, one of the largest independent operators of urgent and family care centers in the Southeast. The centers offer a range of healthcare services including treatments for injuries and illnesses, occupational health and wellness care – seven days a week. In addition to walk-ins, patients can plan a same- or next-day visit online with Hold My Spot® or schedule a Telemedicine visit. A Nashville-based company, Urgent Team Family of Centers provides quality and affordable family healthcare at 69 locations under seven brands: For more information, visit BaptistHealthUrgentCare.net.
About Baptist Health
For 100 years, Baptist Health has delivered All Our Best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit baptist-health.com, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.