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Dobbs calls on more young people to take vaccine, foresees ‘ongoing outbreaks’ if not

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 3:24 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State health officials discussed Mississippi’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts at a press conference Wednesday.

The conference comes a day after First Lady Jill Biden visited Mississippi to encourage residents to get the vaccine.

According to Dr. Thomas Dobbs, State Health Officer, Mississippi “is struggling at the bottom” of the country with total vaccinations. The state has, however, successfully immunized 76% of every person over the age of 65.

Dobbs called this development “important,” but points out that this leaves a quarter of those 65+ still unvaccinated.

“We really need to make sure that we protect vulnerable folks,” Dobbs stated. “So if you’re over 65, or if you’re over 50 and have any medical issue, you have got to be vaccinated.”

Dobbs also noticed that the state is lagging when it comes to its younger citizens getting the vaccine. He said that this will cause the state difficulty as it enters the fall and as variants continue to spread.

He suspects this will result in “ongoing outbreaks” that will impede the opening of schools without some occasional quarantines and will threaten vulnerable groups due to transmission.

“We’ve been through the worst pandemic in over a century, we’ve lost over 600,000 Americans. [Coronavirus] is now the third leading cause of death in this country and we have an opportunity, an exit door, and too many of us are not choosing that door,” Dobbs stated.

Dobbs then discussed some younger men who have received heart inflammation from the vaccine, calling this “extremely rare” and “pretty mild.” He said there is a 12-per-million chance this will occur.

“Keep in mind that COVID causes myocarditis at a rate far higher than that,” Dobbs said. “We need to make sure that we keep things in perspective.”

For more information on pop up vaccination sites and other locations to receive the vaccine, visit: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420,976.html.

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