In the News

Sen. John Boozman was in Pine Bluff on Wednesday, encouraging the use of vaccines, praising the Department of Veterans Affairs for its efforts and, while taking a few minutes away from the meet-and-greet, getting a haircut.

The two-term senator's first stop was at Walmart, which a few weeks ago started offering covid-19 vaccinations along with other Walmart and Sam's Club locations around the country. He met with the store's pharmacy team and others at the Pine Bluff location, got his hair trimmed and then was on his way to the Veterans Affair Clinic on Market Street, where he met with the staff and veteran Lewis Sipes.

The 74-year-old Sipes, sitting in a chair, was being prepped for a dose of the Pfizer vaccine by Pam Griffin, a registered nurse with the VA, as Boozman and others crowded into the exam room.

Sipes grimaced a bit when Griffin went to work with the needle, but he said he'd been through worse. During his four years in the Air Force and three in the Army, he said, he once had 14 shots in five minutes.

Asked if it was his first or second shot, Griffin quickly answered for him.

"That's his second. He's done," she said, while Sipes grinned.

"You're so gentle," said Boozman, standing a few feet away as a VA photographer captured the moment.

"You wouldn't want Nurse Ratched, would you?" Griffin asked with a laugh, referencing the evil nurse in Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

"This is how we're going to get back to normal," Boozman told Sipes.

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