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Vaccines roll out to sites in underserved areas of the Jackson-metro

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 11:45 AM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 12, 2021 at 7:29 PM CST - Updated March 2 at 1:41 PM on www.wlbt.com)

JACKSON, Miss. (Great Health Divide) - Those eager to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccine are finding it now more accessible in the Jackson area.

More vaccination sites are opening, from churches to retail pharmacies, to offer the potentially life saving drug to many who have been unable to get it.

“When COVID first came out, I was hoping some way I could do it to be safe,” said Walter Jenkins after getting the vaccine. The Jackson resident has been waiting over a year for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Friday the 77-year-old got the shot in the arm that came too late for some of his friends.

“I know some other people that had it and passed away. I just feel it’s the right thing to do,” said Jenkins “I don’t think it’s gonna hurt anybody and people have surely died with COVID.”

Jenkins was one of 250 people who signed up to get the vaccine at Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson. St. Dominic Hospital provided the Pfizer doses. Vice President of Human Resources Frank Lenor said their goal is to get to the underserved in the metro Jackson area.

Anderson church officials gladly opened their doors to help residents get access to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The real heroes here are the persons who were vulnerable enough to say they want to come out and receive the vaccine and St. Dominic who reached out to us to be a space. So we appreciate them for reaching out to us,” said Anderson United Methodist Church Associate Pastor Domini Henry.

Deborah Rawls and her husband Anthony got their shots because they didn’t want to contract or spread the virus.

“I’m a vaccine person,” said Rawls. “I take the flu shot, the pneumonia shot and if it’s something dealing with the COVID. I just want to play it safe.”

Friday, Walmart Pharmacies began offering vaccines in Mississippi through the New Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

You can get them by appointment only at the Greenway Drive location in Jackson, the Grandview Boulevard location in Madison and five other stores in the surrounding area.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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