Vaccination rate increasing in Mississippi amid latest Delta surge

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:11 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Delta variant is causing serious problems in Mississippi and creating new challenges compared to earlier in the pandemic.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs noted Tuesday that the folks going into the hospital are younger than what we saw in earlier waves.

Vaccinations rates more than doubled in Mississippi in recent weeks, more than 52,000 given just last week. Kathy Bryant decided it was time to get her first dose Tuesday.

“It seems like it’s effecting more younger people,” said Bryant. “It’s having really dire affects this time around. I just didn’t wanna be one of those statistics in the hospital.”

She also brought along her son who is about to start seventh grade and play football.

“I feel good about getting the shot because I’ll be able to play and I don’t have to worry about being quarantined,” said Mikel Stephens.

Open Arms Healthcare Center is hoping money will talk for other folks.

“If that’s the bottom line, whatever it takes at this particular point,” described Deja Abdul-Haqq. “All of America needs all of America to be vaccinated so here at Open Arms we’re going to do our part.”

They’re offering a $50 incentive for each dose at a two day event on the coast and indefinitely at the Jackson clinic.

“If you’re not encouraged to do it for yourself. Do it for Mississippi.”

Here’s what the data tells us. The majority of those folks getting COVID-19, going into the hospital and dying haven’t gotten those shots.

The Department of Health shared with WLBT that between January 1 and July 22, 2,400 COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the state. Only 37 of those were vaccinated.

Again, reinforcing the trend that most of those with the most serious outcomes are unvaccinated.

Funeral director Steve Holland says he’s seen that inevitable pattern of more cases then more folks admitted to the hospital and then planning a funeral.

“Had two to die yesterday with COVID and had one a week before,” described Holland. “Yes, it’s picking up again, no ifs ands and buts about it.”

Holland says they handled 56 COVID deaths at his funeral home alone last year. He’s bracing for more.

“But by golly, now it’s in high gear again,” he noted. “I regret that. I hate that deeply. Please get vaccinated public.”

Dr. Dobbs also noted in Tuesday’s update that we are seeing more ER visits for COVID than we have for any other time in the pandemic.

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