The unvaccinated fill lines at COVID-19 testing sites

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Long lines are still forming at COVID-19 testing locations.

As Mississippi leads the nation in low vaccination rates, many of those seeking testing are the unvaccinated. Some hesitant to get the shots are crossing their fingers that they’ve avoided the virus.

While First Lady Jill Biden was in the Capitol City encouraging Mississippians to get vaccinated Tuesday, vehicles were lined up at the West Street testing site waiting to see if they contracted COVID-19. Some are taking the test as a work requirement.

“This is my very first test,” said Jamal Savory.

He was there because he said his sister tested positive for the virus. But the 19-year-old Jackson resident fears getting the vaccine.

“She had a real bad ear infection. She couldn’t breathe. Her nose was running real bad,” said Savory. “So she came and got tested and they said she had COVID, and I would need to come get tested. So I don’t know yet.”

According to the State Health Department, those 18 to 24 have the lowest vaccination rate among most adults.

Jishnu Gosain was also tested. The 30-year-old has had the first dose of the vaccine. He plans to get the second shot.

“I’m actually traveling out of town, actually out of the country. So just want it to say negative so I can prove I don’t have COVID,” said Gosain. “I think there are a lot of unknowns, and I think just to be safe and keep everyone else safe you should just take the test and go ahead and get the vaccine.”

Approximately 35 percent of Mississippians are fully vaccinated.

“It’s summer 2021, everybody’s trying to party and do them, you know?” added Savory. “Too many people around each other. Of course you’re going to get sick. So COVID is still out here.”

The state’s low vaccination rate could mean there will still be the lingering need for COVID-19 testing for the large number of unvaccinated residents.

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