Monday, Jan. 25th: The Mississippi State Dept. of Health announced “High demand for first and second dose vaccinations means that available appointments may be limited. New vaccination appointment openings are added every week. If you are having trouble finding an available appointment, check back regularly for new openings. Your second dose appointment can be made on or after 21 days (for Pfizer vaccine) or 28 days (Moderna) from your first vaccination. The best time to look for a second dose appointment is about two weeks after your first vaccination.”
Thursday, Jan. 21st: Gov. Reeves announced at 10:25 a.m. that there are now 9,921 second dose appointments available throughout the state on covidvaccine.umc.edu. According to a social media post by the governor, 12,000 appointments were uploaded Wednesday night.
Friday, Jan. 15th: MSDH announced that more vaccines have been allocated to Mississippi and that more drive-through appointments are set to open during the week of January 25. Read more about Friday’s announcement here.
The Mississippi State Department of Health released the following statement Wednesday, Jan. 13th:
“The Mississippi State Department of Health had a vaccine distribution plan in place that has been significantly altered in the last few days – especially in the last 24 hours. Neither the county health department drive-through sites, nor the UMMC vaccine scheduling website was designed to accommodate the monumental surge we are currently experiencing. At this time, we have no additional vaccine, and every appointment is tied to an actual vaccination.
The Mississippi State Department of Health hopes to receive a large shipment of vaccine in mid-February that should help put additional shots in people’s arms. We understand the frustration brought on by this sudden change of plans. We will certainly keep all Mississippians updated regarding additional vaccine.
Mississippians should understand that we can only vaccinate residents based on vaccine availability. We will open additional vaccination appointments as we receive more vaccine.
Again, the timetable was incredibly altered to make vaccinating everyone eligible impossible.
In the meantime, all Mississippians – whether vaccinated or not – should continue to follow protective guidelines. Especially avoid any social gatherings. And always wear a mask.”
The Mississippi State Department of Health allows you to schedule an appointment online at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453. Seniors ages 65 and older as well as those 18+ who have underlying medical conditions are now able to schedule an appointments. Previously, only healthcare workers and EMT/paramedics were able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine patient screening, which only takes a few minutes to go through, walks patients through a series of questions, verifying that they are over the age of 65, a healthcare worker, or have an underlying health condition. It also asks whether or not a person has been exposed or tested positive for the virus in recent weeks, as well as whether or not they have received any kind of monoclonal antibody therapy.
Qualifying health conditions include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but less than 40 kg/m2)
- Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Or other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider
Note that your physician or medical provider may advise that you be vaccinated even if you do not have a health condition listed above.
Several health departments in the state are offering the vaccines, including Jackson County and Harrison County on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
On Friday, Jan. 8, the state health department released a list of private providers offering the COVID-19 vaccine. You can view the list here>> https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/12232.pdf
Coastal Family Health will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to those 75 and older by appointment only. They are not yet expanding to provide vaccines to all those who meet the state’s current guidelines. Administration of the 1st dose of the Moderna vaccine will initially be available at four locations, offering drive-through service at no out-of-pocket cost at three of those sites. To make your appointment with Coastal Family Health, call 877-374-4991.
- The Vancleave Clinic – 10828 Hwy 57, Vancleave
- The Leakesville Clinic - 1616 Williams Drive, Leakesville
- The Pass Christian Clinic – 257 Davis Avenue, Pass Christian
- The mobile unit - Salvation Army Kroc Center, 575 Division Street, Biloxi
- East North Gulfport Park - Florida Street, Gulfport
George County Hospital in Lucedale - lease visit https://georgeregional.com/schedule-a-covid-vaccine/ to schedule an appointment or call 601-947-3161.
1/25/21 UPDATE: Second Dose COVID 19 Vaccination appointments are now open at George County Hospital. If you received your first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine at the George County Fairgrounds or Greene County Hospital on January 19th or 20th, you may register for the second dose at https://georgeregional.com/schedule-a-covid-vaccine/ You are asked to bring the vaccine sheet you received at the time of your first dose and your photo ID to your scheduled appointment.
The Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System hospital in Biloxi is administering vaccines to high-risk veterans as long as supplies are available. Veterans interested in receiving the vaccine are encouraged to complete the Keep Me Informed Form. This tool is designed to capture veterans’ interest in receiving the vaccine and keeping veterans informed of the VA’s vaccination process. This information can also help their care team prepare for eligible individual’s vaccinations, if they desire to have one. Veterans will then be contacted by a scheduling team.
Singing River Health System is no longer taking calls as the current supply of vaccinations is fully reserved as of Jan. 12.
Forrest Health regional hospitals will no longer be accepting new appointments for patients who are requesting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. This includes:
- Highland Community Hospital, Picayune
- Pearl River County Hospital, Poplarville
- Walthall General Hospital, Tylertown
- Marion General Hospital, Columbia
- Jefferson Davis Community Hospital, Prentiss
For those who received their first dose at one of Forrest Health’s regional hospitals or clinics, those facilities are still planning to vaccinate everyone with their second dose as scheduled as long as those vaccines are made available. Everyone who already has a first-dose or second-dose appointment is highly encouraged to keep their appointments.
Mississippi is following a phased approach to prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations. Each phase balances the protection of those most at risk from COVID-19 with the protection of those who maintain essential functions of the community such as healthcare, education, law enforcement, food supply and transportation.
The next phase - which is expected to roll out next month - will include essential workers, like those who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.
The vaccine is not yet approved from children under the age of 16.
Vaccines are given out in two doses, approximately 21 to 28 days apart. Both doses are required for the vaccine to be fully effective.
Patients who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 are able to receive the vaccine one their isolation period is over and symptoms have significantly improved. Pregnant women, lactating women and those who are immunocompromised may take the vaccine; however, consultation with your healthcare provider is recommended.
People who have had severe reactions from previous vaccines or injectable medications should not take the vaccine.
Like with most vaccines, patients should expect some soreness and fatigue for up to a day after vaccination, which is a sign that the body is developing a proper immune response. Large-scale testing of the vaccine has found no major side effects to the vaccine.
To read more about the different phases, visit the CDC website for details.