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Vaccine eligibility expands to 65+, MS residents with underlying health conditions

During today’s press briefing, Governor Tate Reeves announced that those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

This expands the current availability which includes healthcare workers and those over the age of 75. 

Watch the briefing below:

To set up an appointment, visit covidvaccine.umc.edu  or call 1-877-978-6453.

The sense of urgency follows new federal guidance to inoculate more individuals with Governor Reeves stating that future doses will be distributed based on how many shots a state is reporting to have administered. 

“It has been made clear that going forward, it is likely that the federal government is going to start reallocating and redistributing depending on one’s ability to get shots in arms, and I don’t blame them. That’s why it is so important that we continue to work to get these vaccines out. We have too many vaccines that have been distributed that are not yet in arms and for those entities where that is the case, we have and we will continue to reduce the allocation to those who are not fulfilling the mission.”

To date, the governor clarified that 62,744 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Mississippi. 

Continued efforts to increase appointment availability will result in the capacity to accept 30,000 patients at the MSDH’s 18 drive-thru sites across the state per week. Additionally, private clinics continue to join the distribution effort and the federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens will provide the state’s long-term care facilities with doses. 

According to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs outlined the following conditions as “underlying health conditions:” Cancer, kidney disease, COPD, heart disease, obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, down’s syndrome, sickle cell disease or other conditions determined by a doctor. 

Dr. Dobbs noted that they are going to place an emphasis on increasing vaccine access and participation in the African American community.

New Executive Orders 

During today’s briefing, Governor Reeves announced two new executive orders. The first will adjust the unemployment benefits to “take advantage of the federal legislation that recently passed to support our small businesses owners. The two adjustments include waiving the waiting period for those who lose their job due to COVID and ensuring that small businesses don’t have to pay into the ‘Unemployment Trust Fund’ for fraudulent claims.

The second will lower flags to half staff in Mississippi in honor of the Capitol police officers who lost their lives in the midst of the riots in D.C. last week.

The mask mandate that exists in 78 of Mississippi’s 82 counties is set to expire later this week, but the governor says this order will be extended in the coming days.

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