STATEWIDE, Miss. (WTVA) — In a Zoom conference on Tuesday (12-22-20), State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers talked about several topics, two of which were coronavirus deaths and vaccines.
Coronavirus deaths are still increasing across the state of Mississippi.
“These are astounding numbers,” Byers said.
In a 2-week period that ended on December 17, Byers said the Department of Health reported 313 coronavirus deaths. The 2-week period before that one had 299, an increase of 14.
Dobbs said the holidays are prime times for the coronavirus to spread. He said hospitals are exceeding their average daily ICU use and daily ventilator use – and this is before the holiday season.
He advised that for holiday celebrations, people should stay with their immediate family. He also advised church services right now should be virtual, especially for people over 65.
Another thing Dobbs is warning people about during Christmas is the “silent super-spreaders.” That’s the person at the dinner table who looks and feels just fine, but is actually spreading it to everyone around.
For the vaccine distribution plan, Dobbs explained right now, we are in Phase 1-A. This will last for several weeks, and is involving people such as health care workers, and long-term care residents.
Dobbs explained they distributed 12,600 Pfizer doses to 5 major health systems. They are sending 60,000 Pfizer doses to residents and employees in long-term care settings.
The week of Christmas, he added the Moderna vaccine will go to all other hospitals in Mississippi for them to vaccinate over the next couple of weeks. Dobbs spoke highly of both vaccines.
“We are very excited to have access to a highly-effective, very safe vaccine, that could really push this COVID pandemic down on its knees,” Dobbs said.
Starting the beginning of January, Dobbs explained more Moderna vaccine will be available through health care workers through 18 health department drive-through clinics. He said they may make it more than that, that they’re still working on additional sites. Going into the Christmas holiday, Dobbs is asking people to be careful.
“Please be safe in the holidays, be thoughtful of others, and beware of the silent super-spreaders because we’re gonna see a lot of that, but there are things you can do to prevent it.”
Dobbs said this pandemic is proving the health care system is an exhaustible resource, and that we have essentially exhausted it. To help curve this trend, he is sincerely asking people to be safe over the next couple of weeks.