Two locations in Scott County began offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people over the age of 65, those with chronic medical conditions, and healthcare providers, this week. The vaccines are available though Lackey Memorial Hospital in Forest and Scott Regional Hospital in Morton by appointment only.
Lackey will be administering the vaccine at their Cough & Fever COVID-19 Drive-Thru Clinic on Airport Road just off Highway 35. The hospital began providing the vaccinations Wednesday. To make an appointment call 601-900-0672 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 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.
In Morton the vaccines are available at Rush Health System’s Clark Medical Clinic, adjacent to Scott Regional Hospital, at 321 Highway 13 South. Walk-ins will not be accepted. To make an appointment there call 601-732-8612. The vaccine is also available in Union though Rush’s Family Medical Group located at 24345 Highway 15. For an appointment there call 601-774-8211.
Vaccine allocations are limited at all locations, however, as more supplies are delivered additional appointments will become available.
Lackey Hospital officials said they are following the COVID-19 vaccination priority guidelines established by the Mississippi State Department of Health. At this time the vaccinations are limited to only individuals 75 and older or qualified healthcare providers. Healthcare personnel in this phase include a broad range of physicians, nurses, and clinical and facility staff in any setting where COVID-19 exposure is a risk.
“We are grateful to be able to offer this vaccination to our community,” said Lackey CEO Sydney Sawyer, RN. “Please be patient with us as we work to provide this service as efficiently as possible. We are making as many appointments as we can as quickly as we can.”
Sawyer said that most everyone that has taken the vaccine has reported a sore arm at the injection site and added that “some people are going to feel sickly for 12-24 hours but that is normal.” He said that Tylenol and Advil help with the soreness and advises “somebody needs to keep a check on the elderly that live at home alone following the vaccination.”
Sawyer reiterated that anyone who feels sick needs to see a doctor. “If you are sick, especially 65 or older, don’t sit at home,” he said. “Talk to your doctor. We had two patients that waited to long this past week and sadly they didn’t make it.”
The CEO also said that he has great confidence in the antibody treatment and that the hospital is using it religiously. “We’re giving a lot of antibodies,” he said. “and we just got an increase in our allotment. These antibodies work.”
As far as testing and positive cases Sawyer said unfortunately the numbers are not slowing down and if anything, “they are getting worse.”
As the vaccine becomes available to more groups, the hospitals will provide notice on their websites and social media and though this newspaper and our social media platforms. For a complete list of Mississippi’s Vaccination Phases, including estimated start dates and qualifying priority groups, visit https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420,976.html.
“We’ve got plenty of the vaccine right now, and we should be able to get more without any problem,” Sawyer concluded. “Bear with us as we get started with this. It is brand new to us and we are learning as we go. We’re not going to get it done as quickly as everyone would like, but we are going to get it done the best way that we can.”
As of Tuesday’s report from the Mississippi State Department of Health the state was reporting a record high number of single day deaths from COVID-19 for the third Tuesday in a row with 98 people having succumbed to the illness on Monday. One of those deaths was a Scott County resident bringing the total number of deaths in this county since the pandemic began in March, 2020 to 43.
Statewide an additional 1,648 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday as the Christmas surge continues. There have now been 241,957 positive cases in Mississippi since the pandemic began and 5,284 deaths.
As of Tuesday, Scott County was reporting a total of 2,347 positive cases of the virus since March of last year which is an increase of 148 cases since the same time last week and two additional deaths in that time period.
MSDH is also reporting that there are a presumed 198,888 people in the state that have recovered from the virus.