The Mississippi State Department of Health announced late Wednesday that all available vaccine appointments are filled after residents overwhelmed the vaccine hotline.

The available appointments at the state’s drive-through sites quickly filled up after publicity about the expansion of shots to people ages 65 and older and those 18 and older who have certain existing medical conditions that increase the risks associated with COVID-19.

“Neither the county health department drive-through sites, nor the UMMC vaccine scheduling website was designed to accommodate the monumental surge we are currently experiencing,” MSDH said. “At this time, we have no additional vaccine, and every appointment is tied to an actual vaccination.”

A number of local residents contacted the newspaper on Wednesday after having trouble getting through on the vaccine hotline.

MSDH said it hopes to receive a large shipment of vaccine in mid-February, and additional vaccination appointments will be opened as more vaccine arrives.

The vaccine distribution plan has significantly altered in the last few days, the department said.

Until more shots are available, state health officials encourage residents to continue following the protective guidelines, including avoiding any social gatherings and wearing a mask.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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