COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands in Mississippi, but all vaccines are now allotted

Private providers are also offering the vaccine, but supplies are limited and many coast facilities have already run out.

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands in Mississippi, but all vaccines are now allotted
Mississippi seniors ages 65 and older as well as those 18+ who have underlying medical conditions are now able to schedule an appointment at several locations throughout the state to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Source: SCOTT EISEN)

**Latest Updates**

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.

Wednesday, Jan. 13th: The state of Mississippi announced that all available vaccines have been allotted, and that another shipment isn’t expected until mid-February. We will update this story when new information is available.


SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - One day after the governor announced that more Mississippians would be allowed to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations, the Mississippi State Health Department made its own announcement: Vaccinating everyone eligible is impossible right now.

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.”

Many of the technical difficulties experienced when trying to schedule a vaccination appointment through the online...

Posted by University of Mississippi Medical Center on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

***When additional vaccines become available, the following information on scheduling appointments will be valid once again.***

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.

The Mississippi State Department of Health now allows you to schedule an appointment online at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453.
The Mississippi State Department of Health now allows you to schedule an appointment online at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453. (Source: MSDH)

Qualifying health conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • 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)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • 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


Private Providers currently offering the COVID-19 vaccination in South Mississippi

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 - Please call 601-947-3161 to schedule an appointment.

Ocshner Medical Center in Bay St. Louis is offering vaccinations by appointment only. Appointments can be made online at MyOchsner or by calling 1-844-888-2772.

The Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System hospital in Biloxi will begin administering vaccines to high-risk veterans on Jan. 12. 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.

Memorial Hospital is currently out of the COVID-19 vaccine but they will continue offering them to eligible patients once they receive more. That information will be updated on their website. For more information, click here.

Forrest Health locations will begin offering vaccines on Jan. 11 at the following locations:

  • Highland Community Hospital, Picayune, 601-358-9457
  • Pearl River County Hospital, Poplarville, 601-240-2023
  • Walthall General Hospital, Tylertown, 601-876-0405
  • Marion General Hospital, Columbia, 601-408-9701
  • Jefferson Davis Community Hospital, Prentiss, 601-408-9701

As more vaccines arrive, vaccinations will be expanded to other groups including essential workers like teachers and first responders, as well as those with chronic diseases which raise their risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

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.

Mississippi Vaccination Phases
Mississippi Vaccination Phases (Source: MSDH)

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.

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