Vaccine may be available for some in Mississippi next month

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs

A coronavirus vaccine could be available to healthcare workers and first responders in Mississippi as soon as next month.

Posted: Nov 12, 2020 4:21 PM

A coronavirus vaccine could be available to health care workers and first responders in Mississippi as soon as next month, the state's top health officials said Thursday.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said Mississippi has been tentatively approved to receive an initial round of 183,000 doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and partner BioNTech, which officials are hoping to see delivered by mid-December.

Supplies are limited, so those who are the most high-risk will get the vaccine first, Byers said.

“We need to make we get them protected,” Byers said of the state's health care workers, during a virtual news conference. “Those are the individuals who are taking care of the COVID-19 patients in the hospital, in the clinical setting. That's going to be the first push.”

Residents who have health conditions or are over the age of 65 will be next in line to receive the vaccine. It will likely be a period of months before it is more broadly available to the general public.

The announcement about a vaccine comes as Mississippi is experiencing a surge of new confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations that rival numbers seen during the peak in the state over the summer.

Byers and State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the vaccine shipment is pending federal approval, but that the news they've received so for about trials on the new vaccine is encouraging.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have enrolled nearly 44,000 people in final testing of their vaccine. Every vaccine study is overseen by an independent “data and safety monitoring board,” or DSMB. These boards include scientists and statisticians who have no ties to the vaccine makers.

Early and incomplete test results indicate that the vaccine against COVID-19 may be 90% effective, officials said Monday.

Pfizer is on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, once it has the necessary safety information in hand.

“Based on the initial information we have, I feel really good about it,” Dobbs said Thursday.

Dobbs said Mississippi is in the midst of a “severe surge” in which the department of health has tracked near record-high case numbers.

He said they are starting to see “extreme stress” in the state's health care system. There were no ICU beds available in Jackson Thursday, and a very limited amount available in other parts of the state.

In the last couple of weeks there have been more than 10,000 new cases in Mississippi and 150 deaths, an “astounding” number, Byers said.

The state health department said Thursday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has reported more than 130,600 virus cases and at least 3,514 deaths from COVID-19 as of Wednesday evening. That’s an increase of 1,271 cases of 17 deaths from the day before. The department said 16 people died between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11 with information from death certificates arriving later.

The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can infect others even when they don’t feel sick. The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most but can be more severe or fatal for some, especially older adults and those with underlying health conditions.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540083

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798481529
Mobile41283809
Madison35157506
Tuscaloosa25925455
Shelby25302249
Montgomery24723593
Baldwin21411310
Lee15993172
Calhoun14574319
Morgan14425280
Etowah13925353
Marshall12280225
Houston10648282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10070151
St. Clair9948245
Cullman9768194
Lauderdale9460243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8341176
Walker7261278
Autauga7005108
Jackson6840112
Blount6773139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5581118
Dale4877113
Russell445738
Chilton4373113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394877
Chambers3596123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303098
Winston275873
Bibb264764
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219169
Fayette212862
Henry189943
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178141
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Columbus
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Oxford
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 64°
Low pressure off to the west of our area and high pressure to the east over the next few days. In between, in our area the battle will linger some scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms for a few more days.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather