The state health department announced Friday that it received additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which will go towards already booked appointments next week. The press release adds that the Mississippi Department of Health anticipates new appointments will be available the week of Jan. 25.
The news comes two days after MSDH said it ran out of doses for new appointments. The department later clarified that those seeking a second dose and those who already booked appointments would not be affected.
The earlier release also said MSDH hoped to receive a large shipment of vaccine in February, causing some to think that the state would be out of new doses until then.
“The anticipated arrival of significantly more vaccine in February is in addition to the steady, modest supply that we are currently receiving weekly,” Friday’s press release clarified.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center, which manages the state’s booking system for vaccine appointments, said it was unprepared for this week’s expansion of eligibility to those 65 and over and to those with pre-existing conditions. Mississippians on social media shared frustrations over long wait times and confusion with the state’s phone line and online booking system.
“There are more people with pre-existing conditions or 65+ than there are doses of the vaccine today,” Gov. Tate Reeves tweeted Wednesday. “So not everyone will have the ability to get a dose immediately or at their preferred site.”
“If you’ve gotten your first dose, or have an appointment for it, you’ll get your second dose,” he added. “We have plenty of appointments and the ability to logistically handle everyone. Just need more first doses.”
Now in the fifth week of administering doses, MSDH reported over 38,000 vaccinations this week alone, a huge surge compared to the 56,000 total vaccinations in the first four weeks combined.
Friday’s announcement also said the new allotment will include a “modest amount” for community partners.
“The additional vaccine will be distributed to community partners in a manner that seeks to address both geographic and racial disparities,” MSDH said.