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Vaccines open to all Mississippians Tuesday

Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves says COVID-19 vaccines will be open to all Mississippians beginning March 16.

He says there are nearly 10,000 appointments available in the state over the next three weeks.

Currently, the vaccine is available to anyone over 50. It’s also open to anyone above 18 with an underlying medical condition, all teachers and staff of K-12, preschool and childcare, as well as first responders.

Beginning Tuesday, anyone over 16 in the state will be able to get vaccinated, but only those 18+ will be able to visit a MSDH drive-through site.

  • Eligible individuals 16 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine, and those 18 and over can receive the Moderna vaccine.
  • Those under 18 should see their physician or a private medical provider about vaccination rather than visiting am MSDH drive-through site.
  • Pregnant women, lactating women and those who are immunocompromised may take the vaccine; however, consultation with your healthcare provider is recommended.
  • You can be vaccinated if you have tested positive for COVID-19 if you wait until your isolation period is over and your symptoms have significantly improved.

Andy Johnson is ready.

“I would love to get the shot now,” said Johnson. “I just need to figure out where I need to go. I’m an essential worker. I’ve been going to work every night through this whole pandemic so it’s actually a great idea.”

Christopher Stokes thinks he’ll wait a few months.

“It’s such a new vaccine,” Stokes noted. “I just prefer to wait till a little bit more tests are done. See what else has come out about it. You just can’t trust new things that come out because there could be some more side effects that we don’t know about.”

Rep. Earle Banks says he’s been encouraged by the state’s vaccine roll-out so far.

“As a survivor and as a funeral director, I’m tired of burying them,” said Rep. Banks. “I don’t want to bury anymore COVID people who we’ve lost to COVID. I’ve got a friend of mine who’s going to have a funeral tomorrow who died of COVID. We want people to live. We’ve lost enough. We need to stop losing our population to COVID.”

The Mississippi Hospital Association making this note.

“We certainly would’ve loved to have seen this increase and push for vaccines before we took the mask mandate off and that’s the case and that’s neither here nor there,” explained Mississippi State Hospital Association President/CEO Tim Moore. “We just need to all try to use common sense and continue to wear them.”

That point echoed by the chair of the State Medical Association Board of Trustees, noting that it’s not the time to let our guard down.

“After someone gets the first shot, until it’s time for the next shot, they can still catch coronavirus,” said Dr. Jennifer Bryan. “And while there is some immunity that’s provided by the first shot and we think it’s significant, we need to wait until that second shot to get the full immunity and even then it’s two weeks after the second dose to effect that full immunity of 94-95 effective against mild to moderate illness.”

The state has not yet said exactly what time the website will update to reflect the new eligibility.

Click here to schedule your appointment. You can also call 877-978-6453 for more info.

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