Reeves: Mississippi will double number of vaccination sites

Gov. Tate Reeves speaking during a coronavirus news conference. File image

Gov. Tate Reeves said the coronavirus vaccine rollout is not going fast enough in Mississippi.

Posted: Jan 9, 2021 6:43 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Gov. Tate Reeves said Friday that the coronavirus vaccine rollout is not going fast enough in Mississippi. He said officials are working behind the scenes to “eliminate roadblocks” so more people can get vaccinated quickly.

The Republican governor said the state is planning to double the number of sites where people can be vaccinated in the coming days and double the appointment capacity of those sites, as well as the number of days they are open.

“If you want a vaccine, you should have quick, simple access,” Reeves said. “Government logistics should not stand in your way.”

Mississippi set up 18 drive-through sites for vaccinations, which opened for healthcare workers on Monday and individuals 75 and over on Wednesday. Around 7,600 coronavirus vaccinations were administered at drive-thru vaccination sites in the state this week, said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

However, residents said the process has not been as smooth as they would like. Online appointments were filling up quickly; calls to the hotline to make appointments were backed up; some said they were not able to make appointments after waiting or they had to make appointments in counties far from where they live.

Tina Herrington, 76, of Jackson, told The Associated Press there were no appointments available in or near Mississippi's capital city when she went to sign up a few days ago. The only appointment she could get was more than 80 miles away — in Greenwood.

Herrington said she can’t drive an hour and 40 minutes at her age, adding her caretaker will need to give her a ride to the appointment.

“I can’t make it that far on my own,” she said. “I don’t know what else to do. I don’t understand why I couldn’t get one around here in Jackson sooner. It was going to be weeks and weeks before I could even get it anywhere near Jackson.”

Reeves said the goal is to increase the number of appointments available at drive-thru sites in a week from 8,000 to 30,000.

More than 170 private clinics and community health centers have also signed up to vaccinate patients. Dobbs said the names of those facilities will be posted on the Department of Health's website.

To help ramp up its efforts, Mississippi will receive close to $200 million from the federal government as part of a recently passed pandemic relief package for coronavirus testing and vaccinations.

The state is to receive $171.3 million for testing and $26.8 million for vaccinations, Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said. The relief package was approved by Congress last month.

In a statement Friday, Hyde-Smith said the cash influx will help “control this virus.”

“We all recognize ongoing stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic on our hospitals, health workers, and importantly the lives of all Mississippians," Hyde-Smith said.

The state Health Department reported Friday that Mississippi had 2,175 new confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus as of Thursday evening. The department also reported 40 deaths Friday, with 26 of them happening between Dec. 16 and Thursday. The state has reported nearly 233,665 cases of the virus and 5,101 deaths from it since the start of the pandemic.

People eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine can make an appointment at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 268672

Reported Deaths: 5917
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17928195
Hinds17030337
Harrison14510212
Rankin11315223
Jackson11054193
Lee9109147
Madison8663171
Jones6853120
Forrest6260125
Lauderdale6161196
Lowndes5582123
Lafayette5269101
Lamar508765
Washington4965125
Bolivar4164110
Oktibbeha411585
Panola389881
Pontotoc380460
Monroe3727111
Warren3716103
Marshall360172
Union360165
Pearl River3527106
Neshoba3516158
Leflore3132110
Lincoln308389
Hancock300963
Sunflower294277
Tate281862
Alcorn274055
Pike272984
Itawamba271263
Scott264055
Yazoo258456
Prentiss255454
Coahoma252455
Copiah251549
Tippah251551
Simpson244872
Leake238967
Marion228274
Covington224873
Grenada224673
Wayne216336
Adams216271
Winston208271
George206440
Newton201447
Attala197465
Tishomingo196361
Chickasaw190245
Jasper183138
Holmes172568
Clay168637
Tallahatchie158035
Stone153625
Clarke148762
Calhoun142022
Smith131926
Yalobusha124935
Walthall115438
Greene114929
Noxubee114526
Montgomery112936
Lawrence107917
Carroll106922
Perry105931
Amite102727
Webster98024
Claiborne90125
Tunica89621
Jefferson Davis89330
Benton86923
Humphreys85625
Kemper81220
Quitman7169
Franklin71017
Choctaw64013
Wilkinson60125
Jefferson57321
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
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