40,000 first-dose vaccines to roll out in Mississippi next week

40,000 first-dose vaccines expected to roll out in Mississippi next week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mississippi health officials said nearly 40,000 first-dose vaccines will be given out starting next week.

Their message to Mississippians is to be patient, calm and careful as more vaccines roll out.

“1.3 million eligible, that’s 30,000 a week,” said state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

He’s referring to the number of Mississippians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Those who are 65 and older, those who are 16-64 years old with underlying medical problems, healthcare personnel and long term care facility residents and staff.

“Just making sure that we have the right products at the right locations for those second shots has been just a little bit more planning that we needed to do before those other appointments are made up so that we can ensure that people have the shot they need at the right time at the right place,” said Senior Deputy and Director of Health Protection Jim Craig.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers told WMC, “We know that of the 2,200 cases that we see now, eventually, we’re going to see about 8 or 10 % of those potentially hospitalized down the road.”

Meanwhile, health officials said two challenges the state faces are trust and availability.

They’re working to address disparity by expanding the number of vaccines going to rural areas and to minority communities.

Health officials said the state is “cautiously improving.”

On Thursday, more than 22 hundred new cases and 30 deaths were reported, but numbers show a possible downward trend, although health officials said it may be too early to tell.

Dobbs said the state is expected to receive an additional 37,000 first-dose vaccines next week and of those, 30,000 will go to the state’s 19 drive through vaccine sites.

Currently, there are about 6,000 appointments each day at vaccination sites.

“Now’s the time for us to continue to bear down and do those things that we know have been working and really redouble our efforts to make sure that we limit transmission until we can get more folks vaccinated and that’s going to take a little bit of time,” said Byers.

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