DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Tuesday the Desoto County Department of Health will begin offering COVID-19 drive-thru vaccinations in Hernando.
Vaccines will also be offered on Thursdays.
It’s only for health care workers and it’s by appointment only, but Governor Tate Reeves says he’s ready to expand who can get the vaccine.
“Right now the most important task we have is getting vaccines out to the public,” said Reeves.
After meeting with state leaders Monday morning, Reeves says next week Mississippians over the age of 75 can be vaccinated.
Mississippians 65 and over will be added to the list the following week.
The 65 plus group in Phase 1c1 shouldn’t be getting the vaccines until February, but Reeves says time is of the essence.
“We know we can’t delay protecting those that are at the greatest risk,” he said. “We must focus on saving lives.”
Reeves admits that the roll-out of the vaccines was much slower than expected.
Of the more than 160,000 vaccines distributed so far in Mississippi, only about 23,500 shots are actually in Mississippians’ arms.
This week the state health department is adding 18 drive-thru vaccination sites.
Right now the drive-thru sites are focused on health care workers and especially those working in long-term care facilities.
“People who are residents of long-term care facilities catch coronavirus from employees, visitation is pretty limited and safe. The employee is the mechanism people get COVID in nursing homes,” said Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
Mississippi will also distribute 20,000 vaccination doses to private clinics this week; 174 clinics have signed up to receive the vaccine.
Reeves suggested that people over the age of 75 should contact their primary physician to see if they are on the list to receive the vaccine.
In addition to DeSoto County, the health department will set up a drive-thru vaccination site in Panola County on Friday.
Later on this week, you can start making appointments if you’re over the age of 75.
You can make an appointment to be vaccinated by visiting https://covidvaccine.umc.edu/