MSDH offers clarity as additional COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive

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The Mississippi State Department of Health has announced the arrival of additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to support on-going operations at drive-thru locations across the state through next week.

In a news release, the MSDH explained that the allotment will also allow for a modest amount of doses to be shared with community partners in a “manner that seeks to address both geographic and racial disparities.” To this point, just 15% of Mississippi’s doses have been administered to African Americans.

Related: Surgeon General urges communities of color to embrace vaccine

Today’s announcement follows Wednesday’s news that all available appointments had been filled, resulting from the expansion of eligibility to those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions.

“While this doesn’t mean new appointment slots have opened just yet, MSDH clarified that they “anticipate that we will have an additional drive through appointments, in more locations, the week of January 25 based on vaccine forecasted to be available at the end of next week.” the release says.

Additionally, the release explained that health officials expect a steady supply to continue to arrive.

“MSDH anticipates steady vaccine supply to support scheduled vaccine appointments at drive-through clinics, and second doses will be available for all persons who have already received a first dose. The anticipated arrival of significantly more vaccine in February is in addition to the steady, modest supply that we are currently receiving weekly,” MSDH notes.

To date, at least 77,223 Mississippians have received their first dose of the vaccine with 8,606 getting their second shot as well. After Wednesday’s confusion, Governor Tate Reeves took to Facebook last night in an effort to explain the current situation relating to outstanding doses.

A large portion of the state’s allocation resides in the hands of CVS and Walgreens, which are tasked with vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities through a partnership with the federal government. Mississippi’s numbers trail neighboring states in this regard, according to a database from CVS.

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