JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV/AP) – On Thursday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced the state expanded COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to anyone 50-years of age or older.
Patients can reach out to their local healthcare providers, hospital or pharmacy for more information about how to receive the vaccine. They can also schedule drive-thru appointments at http://covidvaccine.UMC.edu.
To date, 94 percent of COVID-19 related deaths (6,381) and 80 percent (7,342) of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in Mississippi have been among those 50 and older.
“So far, about 350,000 persons aged 50 years and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the state. We are expanding our eligibility to this age group to increase the access to vaccination in this vulnerable population and prevent hospitalizations and deaths,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
The modified eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccine in Mississippi are as follows:
- All persons aged 50 years and older.
- All teachers/staff/employees in K-12, preschool or childcare settings.
- All first responders (including law enforcement, public safety, fire services and emergency management officials)
- All healthcare personnel.
- Persons aged 16-49 years with underlying medical conditions, as follows: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Down syndrome, heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies), immunocompromised from solid organ transplant, obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, diabetes, or other medical conditions determined by the medical provider.
Earlier this week, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announced the new one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be available starting Thursday, March 4.
As of Thursday, 443,535 people in Mississippi had received one or more doses of the vaccine, according to MSDH. The entire state has a population of around 3 million.