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: 503322

Reported Deaths: 10057
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34400541
DeSoto32318411
Hinds32074631
Jackson24551386
Rankin22103391
Lee15657235
Madison14662281
Jones13894243
Forrest13506253
Lauderdale12037318
Lowndes11091192
Lamar10531138
Pearl River9557238
Lafayette8581140
Hancock7751130
Washington7458161
Oktibbeha7152133
Monroe6796178
Warren6752176
Pontotoc6736104
Neshoba6656206
Panola6572131
Marshall6494135
Bolivar6331150
Union607794
Pike5849154
Alcorn5691102
Lincoln5468135
George502979
Scott474198
Tippah472481
Prentiss471582
Leflore4676144
Itawamba4651105
Tate4632111
Adams4617120
Copiah450092
Simpson4458116
Yazoo445388
Wayne440772
Covington429894
Sunflower4246105
Marion4236108
Coahoma4178108
Leake409888
Newton383179
Grenada3731108
Tishomingo361592
Stone360664
Jasper336565
Attala335290
Winston315391
Clay309077
Chickasaw302367
Clarke295894
Calhoun279947
Holmes268788
Smith266550
Yalobusha237247
Tallahatchie228752
Greene220649
Walthall219364
Lawrence213640
Perry206456
Amite206056
Webster203446
Noxubee186940
Montgomery179757
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169639
Tunica160139
Benton149439
Kemper142141
Choctaw134627
Claiborne132838
Humphreys129738
Franklin120728
Quitman106828
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson95934
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 821255

Reported Deaths: 15424
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1149051930
Mobile726651340
Madison52400699
Shelby37685350
Baldwin37285552
Tuscaloosa35147613
Montgomery34130740
Lee23556246
Calhoun22255490
Morgan21037378
Etowah19844500
Marshall18390304
Houston17406412
St. Clair16091339
Cullman15493293
Limestone15402199
Elmore15292286
Lauderdale14366295
Talladega13870283
DeKalb12670261
Walker11255370
Blount10227176
Autauga10061148
Jackson9909185
Coffee9215191
Dale8912186
Colbert8907201
Tallapoosa7103198
Escambia6782134
Covington6724183
Chilton6658162
Russell637659
Franklin5992105
Chambers5615142
Marion5016127
Dallas5013202
Pike4799106
Clarke477284
Geneva4577127
Winston4538103
Lawrence4352117
Bibb425686
Barbour358376
Marengo338390
Monroe332064
Randolph330264
Butler328596
Pickens317384
Henry313166
Hale311988
Cherokee303260
Fayette294580
Washington251651
Cleburne247960
Clay245568
Crenshaw245475
Macon235563
Lamar225747
Conecuh186654
Coosa180940
Lowndes175764
Wilcox169139
Bullock151844
Perry139240
Sumter133338
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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