Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday said that more than 100,000 Mississippians have received COVID-19 vaccinations, and the state has improved from 50th in the nation to the mid- to high 30s in getting “shots into arms.”
Reeves said that the state had administered 114,947 doses as of Friday — practically all its allotment through then — including 9,719 fully inoculated with a second dose. He said the state hopes this week to administer up to 67,800 doses.
As of Monday, appointments will be available for next week for those 65 and older and health care workers, Reeves said, and he hopes the inoculations can soon begin for first responders and teachers. Reeves said the state expects to have about 30,000 doses available for next week.
The state website and call center were overwhelmed in first weeks of the state providing inoculation appointments for senior citizens and health care providers. Reeves, at a press conference Monday with health department, emergency management and military officials, said the website and call center have been improved and “bulked up” to better meet demand.
“We will do everything in our power to remove every roadblock and provide access to as many people as possible,” Reeves said. “There is no higher priority.”
The state is providing vaccinations by appointment only at 19 drive through sites, and 144 private hospitals and clinics are also administering the shots. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are providing vaccinations through a federally run program in partnership with private pharmacies.
Reeves said the state will begin resupplying only those private providers that have administered at least 65% of their allotments. He also said he is working to shift doses from nursing homes to the general population because he believes nursing homes were “over allocated.” Vaccinations in long-term care facilities have been going slower than state officials had expected, but Reeves said he’s been given assurance that will improve.