Vaccines redirected away from hospitals as Gov. Reeves casts doubts on distribution timeline

Vaccines redirected away from hospitals as Gov. Reeves casts doubts on distribution timeline

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves expressed concerns this week about wanting better data on how quickly hospitals were utilizing their vaccines.

“Before anymore allocation goes out, I’m going to have that data because we cannot keep sending doses to places that aren’t putting them in arms,” Reeves said Wednesday.

We’ve now learned that the change in plans left some hospitals around the state being forced to cancel appointments for vaccines they originally were told were on the way.

“It really is concerned that so abruptly that was changed just because of a misunderstanding of numbers,” said President and CEO of the Mississippi Hospital Association Tim Moore. “I’ve been told repeatedly that hospitals on a percentage basis have given out more shots than anybody else.

“So, there’s some misinformation out there. I’m hopeful that we can get better information to the Governor and help that understanding but the hospitals was the wrong place to cast that blame.”

Moore notes the first directive was to only vaccinate frontline workers. Part of initially unused vaccines can partly be explained by the reluctance of some health care workers to receive the shot.

“Hospitals were following the rules and they were very restrictive,” described Moore. “If you want to change the rules, that’s great. We’ll accommodate it.”

Meanwhile, CEO of Lawrence County Hospital Phillip Langston is pleading with the state not to be left out. “We’re trying every day to get help.”

They received 100 doses for their workers but have been unable to receive any for community members.

“They’re scared,” added Langston. “Cancer patient yesterday morning called. Her doctor is highly recommending she get the vaccine as soon as possible. She’s scared she’s not going to get it. We need a minimum of one distribution point per county.”

Langston notes that many elderly patients in their county can’t drive or get transportation to another county and want care where they are accustomed to going but they’re stuck telling them it’s not available.

Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.