The latest on the disease that has been terrorizing the world for the past year


After months of waiting and anticipation, a COVID-19 vaccine is being released to the public in groups based on priority.

After more than a year of grappling with the deadly virus, the Covid-19 vaccine is finally completed and being distributed to the public in phases. 

As of February 11, the state of Arkansas has received over 600,000 doses of the vaccine and has distributed over 400,000 to the population. The numbers are expected to rise over time, slowly but surely allowing the general public to receive the vaccine.

“If I’m going to be honest, the vaccine will probably roll out later in the year. Probably around September [or] October, that will be the first wave [for the general public],” said Theodore Busch, 11.

Unfortunately, a second strand of the virus was discovered at around the same time the vaccine was created.

Though the complexity of just how different the effects of the variant are still unclear,  according to the CDC the possible mutations could result in the ability to spread more quickly in humans, the ability to cause either milder or more severe disease in humans, the ability to evade detection by specific diagnostic tests and the ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity.

Based on these mutations, this variant strain has been predicted to potentially be more rapidly transmissible than other circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2,” according to the CDC.

Arkansas is currently distributing the vaccine to people who qualify for Phase 1-B, with Phase 1-C expected to begin in April. Phases 1 and 2 focus on distributing the vaccine to the critical populations including older people, people with high-risk medical conditions, healthcare workers and teachers. 

Although some are questioning why it is necessary for teachers to receive the vaccine before various other groups that would be considered high-risk, some teachers say that students learn better in person instead of online and teachers need to get the vaccine in order to be safe while doing their jobs.

“I think it’s really important to have students and teachers have contact here at school. I think we need to be in the classroom. I think it’s healthy to do that and I think students learn more,” said Skip Emmett, animal science and agricultural systems teacher.