WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

COVID vaccination plan for long-term care was 'faulty'

Dr. Thomas Dobbs | Source: Mississippi State Department of Health

Mississippi’s top health official is criticizing the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine within the state’s long-term care facilities.

Posted: Jan 23, 2021 4:24 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2021 5:30 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi's top health official criticized the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine within the state's long-term care facilities Friday, calling the plan made by the federal government and pharmacies contracted to give the shots “faulty” and ”frustrating."

“We gave them too much vaccine too soon,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said during a virtual briefing with the Mississippi State Medical Association, adding that the situation is now a “daunting problem” for health officials.The Department of Health is now having conversations with CVS and Walgreens about whether some of the doses allocated to them need to be pulled back, Dobbs said.

CVS and Walgreens were allocated 47,000 doses of vaccine in December to inoculate long-term care residents, per the federal government. As of Friday, only about 14,000 doses have been administered. Mississippi has about 36,000 residents living in nursing facilities and 25,000 living in other long-term care settings.

That's compared with 150,786 doses that have been administered statewide, according to the Department of Health. The state is using 19 drive-thru facilities, clinics and hospitals to complete vaccinations for those 65 and older, health care workers and those who are at least 16 and have health conditions that might make them more vulnerable to the virus.

Overall, Dobbs said, the state is doing “remarkably well” at vaccinating people who are not long-term care residents — the state had used 75% of its allocation for first doses as of Friday. Still, officials at the drive-thru sites and other facilities offering vaccinations have not been able to come close to keeping up with the demand.

“If we could have given them 4,000 a week like they're using, then we could have used that other vaccine," Dobbs said of long-term care facilities.

The state health officer said it's been a “real challenge" as his team tries to plan for the future.

"We expected them to be done a couple of weeks ago, like maybe last week, with everybody," Dobbs said.

Officials with CVS and Walgreens have assured the Department of Health that vaccinations will be 95% done by the end of January, Dobbs said. Department of Health officials are meeting with representatives from the pharmacies again on Monday.

Dobbs said the delay has been partially due to slow rollout by CVS and Walgreens and also to “sluggish” uptake of the vaccine, especially among staff at long-term care facilities.

The department reported Friday that Mississippi had 2,050 new confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday evening. The department also reported 45 deaths Friday, 27 of which happened between Jan. 16 and Thursday. The state has reported about 261,000 cases of the virus and 5,713 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

People eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine can try to make an appointment at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID-19 call center at 1-877-978-6453.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 71°
Columbus
Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather