The governor said this morning that Arkansas hospitals have added 17 ICU beds and 689 other beds to meet the COVID crunch, though it won’t help many with other needs. The critical care beds are needed, today’s report shows.

47 percent of ICU patients are infected with the virus.

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Also today, pharmacies began advertising booster doses of vaccine for immuno-compromised, and the authorization of boosters for others is expected as early as next month. One explained:

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:

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  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

The day’s COVID numbers:

New cases: 2,203

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Active cases: 23,783, down from 24,098 yesterday.

Deaths: 41 more, for total of 6,539

Hospitalized with COVID: the dashboard currently shows a count of 1,410, down from a record 1,459 yesterday, but the state’s fuller summary, not yet released, sometimes differs

Vaccinations given: 12,69

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ICU count jumped to 540, up from 515, and the number on ventilators rose to a record 330.