JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – State health leaders had an important update to give Mississippi about vaccinations and boosting confidence for people to know all the details of why to get the shots. This was the first public health address by the Mississippi Department of Health since the Johnson and Johnson pause was lifted. MSDH agrees with the CDC to let clinics continue using it because the pros severely outweigh the cons.
Over seven million doses of Johnson and Johnson have made their way into people’s arms across the country. Comparing the ratio with the 15 individuals who developed rare blood clots and the six that died from the shot, meaning one or two patients are at risk out of 1 million good doses.
“I would like to compare that to the rate of death with people diagnosed with Coronavirus in the age group of 25-39,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. “Within that age group, the risk of death is 1.89 out of 1,000 patients.”
To keep people on guard and know the right info, all clinics and hospitals will distribute fact sheets to those signed up for Johnson and Johnson to know any dangerous side effects and options for other vaccines. On April 23, U.S. health officials lifted the 11-day pause of the J&J vaccine after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of a blood clot.
“The important piece of that is to make sure people are aware of the small risk that has been seen primarily in women 18-49 years of age,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers explained. “Make them aware there are other vaccines.”
To get a sense of where Mississippian’s attitudes are, MSDH conducted a survey of more than 11,000 people from all counties to measure vaccine confidence. 80% of whites and Asians in the state marked they’ll definitely get it but not others.
“American Indians around 66%, Latino and Latinx around 61%, then African Americans around 56%,” Dr. Victor Sutton told us. “The vaccine intent by gender was higher among men than women.”
The study found political affiliation had little impact on shaping one’s thoughts on getting vaccinated or not. Meanwhile, the biggest influencers to those surveyed were regular family doctors or relatives getting the shot.
Measuring by doses administered per capita, Mississippi ranks 49th in the nation. Dr. Byers emphasized for those wanting to get back to a sense of normalcy back, vaccines are the best tool because anyone who already caught the coronavirus can get it again then infect others.