The hunt for a COVID shot is now open to all Mississippians.
Gov. Tate Reeves announced in a social media posting Monday morning that the list of eligibility requirements is ending as of today, with all new appointments open to all residents.
Available appointments at the state vaccination sites continue to go quickly. As of Monday afternoon, appointments available in Tupelo numbered in the single digits, and more than 1,100 were available in Oxford. The three options in Corinth continue to be the hospital and the pharmacies of Walmart and Kroger.
State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs encourages residents not to hesitate to line up for the vaccine.
“A lot of folks are worried that this was done very quickly,” he said during a talk about the COVID anniversary last week. “The research behind it goes back many, many years.”
And the depth of research meets the same standards as the other vaccines people routinely take, like the flu and shingles shots, he said.
The number of shots given in Alcorn County thus far, including all doses, reached 9,715 Monday morning, according to the state reporting system. The number is 6,904 in Prentiss County; 4,963 in Tishomingo County; and 5,048 in Tippah County. The state total was at 888,462, with the drive-through clinics being the largest source.
“We’ve got a lot of optimism on the horizon, but we also have challenges,” said Dobbs. “We have viral variants that are more contagious and, maybe, some that are going to make the vaccine less effective.”
He is encouraging people to help keep the numbers moving in the right direction.
“It’s time to continue with the safety measures we have in place – continue to mask in public, continue to avoid indoor social gatherings and get vaccinated when its your turn,” said Dobbs.
He said he has been encouraged to see people all over the state continuing to use face coverings even though the government mandate ended.
State Epidemiologist Paul Byers said the current numbers are encouraging, with declining E.R. visits, hospitalizations, and ICU and ventilator use. Another promising indicator, he said, is less than 50 nursing homes now have ongoing outbreaks.
Magnolia Regional Health Center reported two patients hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 as of Friday.