After some confusion last week on the state level as to the number of vaccines for COVID-19 available in Mississippi, local healthcare officials said Tuesday that they are still taking appointments and still administering shots.
“We did about 168 patients yesterday,” Lackey Memorial Hospital CEO Sydney Sawyer, RN said by phone from the COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru facility on Airport Road, just off Highway 35 South in Forest. “We’ve probably given 550 or so in the last week. Maybe closer to 700 as of today.”
Sawyer said the problem was not with being able to administer the shots, but rather the registration and the notification to the state that delays the process. The CEO added that they have recruited nursing students from East Central Community College’s Fourth Semester ADN (RN) program and will also be using some of their LPN students to assist at the drive thru this week which will help speed up the process.
Last week state officials announced that there would be no more vaccine appointments made until February because appointments had been made for all of the Federal allotment, but soon retreated from that announcement and said that appointments could be made for the “state run” facilities beginning Monday, January 25. Lackey’s facility and Clark Medical Clinic in Morton, are not considered “state run” facilities and receive their own allotments of the COVID-19 vaccine. Clark Clinic, however, was out of the vaccine on Tuesday and awaiting a reallotment from the state.
Lackey is taking appointments by phone at 601-900-0672 OR 601-697-5236 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, include your full name, date of birth, mother's maiden name, address, and a good contact number where you can be reached for a return call to schedule. The Drive-Thru Clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and a valid ID is needed at the appointment.
Monday, Governor Tate Reeves announced additional COVID-19 vaccine measures in an effort to help individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Twenty thousand new appointments were loaded into the state system Monday for first doses and can be booked at covidvaccine.umc.edu or by calling 877-978-6453. The nearest facilities for those vaccines are in Rankin and Neshoba counties
Since receiving the first doses of the vaccine, the state has administered over 105,000 of the first dose, along with 9,719 second doses making that many Mississippians fully vaccinated. A total of 114,947 doses have been given across the state.
The state’s website has also been expanded to be able to help 6,000 individuals per second get an appointment to receive the vaccine. The call center is also being expanded so callers should have less of a wait time.
“We celebrated a milestone over the weekend, with more than 100,000 Mississippians receiving vaccinations for COVID-19,” Reeves said. “That’s something we can all be proud of, as we work to get even more access to all.”
As of Tuesday’s report from the Mississippi State Department of Health an additional 1,193 people had been diagnosed positive with COVID-19 as of Monday and there were 51 additional deaths being reported. One of those deaths was in Scott County where there have now been 2,480 positive cases of the virus reported since the pandemic began in March of last year. Scott County is now reporting a total of 46 deaths since March. That reflects an increase of 133 positive cases since the same reporting period last week and 3 additional deaths.
Statewide there have now been 255,125 positive cases of the virus and 5,574 deaths. Some 207,769 Mississippians are presumed to have recovered from the virus as of Monday.