The Latest: Mississippi to reduce gaps in vaccine access


FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2021, file photo, registered nurse Marife Edquilang, left, administers a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Anthony Monroe during a vaccination drive at Texas Southern University in Houston. At least 11 states opened vaccine eligibility to all adults this week in a major expansion of COVID-19 shots for tens of millions of Americans amid a worrisome increase in virus cases and concerns about supply and demand for the vaccines. States opening eligibility to anyone ages 16 and older on Monday included Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Ohio and Kansas. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP News)– An office within the Mississippi State Department of Health that works to reduce gaps in access to health care is looking for organizations to host coronavirus vaccination events.

The Office of Health Equity is partnering with Federally Qualified Health Centers to increase vaccination efforts around the state. The focus of these events will be on Hispanic, Black, Vietnamese residents and people who live in rural areas. These partners can be cities, community organizations and businesses.

The partners will help identify individuals who need vaccinations, and the health department will schedule the event.

“What we need now are new local partners to help us bring vaccinations into communities that have not had the access that other Mississippians have had so far,” said Director of the Office of Health Equity Dr. Chigozie Udemgba.

As of Friday, 61% of all vaccinations against the coronavirus in Mississippi had been given to white residents, according to data provided by the state Department of Health. Just over 30% of vaccinations have been given to Black residents and 2% to Asian residents.

Mississippi has the highest population of African American residents at just under 40%.

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