State health officials urge you not to wait for a specific vaccine

State health officials urge you not to wait for a specific vaccine

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The weekly COVID-19 update with the Department of Health and State Medical Association includes a positive outlook.

State health leaders say Mississippi’s vaccine supply has increased even more in recent weeks and they’re working to improve the access to those doses.

“We’re doing a multi-county blitz for high risk folks with low vaccination rates and high poverty. We’re going to actually get a list of every homebound person in that county and we’re going to go give them a shot. In addition to doing walk-in clinics and weekend clinics,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “We’re trying to increase access.”

Dobbs tweeted Friday that 43-thousand Johnson and Johnson doses will be available in the state next week at clinics and pharmacies. They haven’t made a list of those providers available yet but referenced that they would work to get that information out. But Dr. Paul Byers urges you not to be picky.

“I encourage folks...don’t wait for a specific vaccine,” he said. “Because we have gotten some questions about that. is that my patients want to wait until X vaccine is available to them at that time cause that’s going to be protection.”

Sixty-eight variant cases have been identified in the state with most being the UK strain. But Dobbs mentioned the Pfizer study against the South African variant.

“It’s very reassuring that the Pfizer vaccine and by extension probably Moderna, but the Pfizer is showing remarkable resilience for the variants,” he said. “So, that’s good. It’s basically equivalent to the baseline strains as far as protection.”

Dr. Byers says that while another surge is still possible - he thinks the indicators to watch are hospitalizations and deaths - which are both down in part due to the vaccines.

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