JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - According to state health officials, vaccine impact has tripled in the African American community since its limited early availability and they are making strides to reach more.
Now, teachers, staff, K-12 employees, law enforcement and public safety are eligible for the vaccine.
“In order to stop the spread, I want to do my part,” said Zetra Morgan. The 62-year-old works in Food Services at Jackson Public Schools. When the COVID-19 vaccine became available to her, she eagerly signed up for it.
“The children are important to me. My family is important to me and my community is too,” said Morgan. “So I said, ‘God I want to do this. Keep me under Your will.’ I’m going to trust the medicine because I take everything else. Why not this?”
New Hope Baptist Church and the Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center partnered to offer the vaccine to the underserved in the community. Educators and staff became eligible this week.
Melvina Whitehead teaches Spanish at New Hope Christian School.
“I was a little fearful at first, but I know people that have actually gotten COVID,” said Whitehead. “Some didn’t survive. Some did.”
The medical facility administered about 200 Moderna doses provided by the State Health Department.
“We’re seeing people actually be receptive to getting the vaccine,” said Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center Deputy CEO Dr. John Patterson. “There are still some that are apprehensive for various reasons and we’re not forcing anyone to get the vaccine, but when you’re ready, we’re here and available to administer it for you.”
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs reports that improvement is being made in racial vaccine disparities with 30 percent of vaccines going to African Americans last week. So far, more than 600,000 have received vaccines in the state.