BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Memorial Hospital at Gulfport opened four locations Thursday to roll out free COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors 75 years and older.
At the Memorial Physicians Clinics Cedar Lake location, lines were long. Some waits in chilly temperatures were as long as two hours or more.
Count Bobby Migues among those appreciative of the effort, but frustrated.
“Oh, God, yes,” said Migues. “I’ve been sitting here - well, standing here. Got here at 8 o’clock. And it’s 9 something now. And I’ve moved 20 feet during that time.”
But, make no mistake. He knows how to pump up a crowd and he sees the bottom line.
“I’m going to get that shot,” said Migues. “Everybody knows, that’s what we’re here for.”
Migues was adamant.
“This shot here is only going to do one thing for you,” said Migues. “It’s going to help you, and it’s going to help everybody that’s around you, because that way, you won’t be carrying the disease.”
Matt Walker, Memorial vice president of clinic operations, admitted the kick off had a few issues.
“Obviously, there’s no such thing is a good go-live, so, we’re working through a few kinks.” said Walker.
That included putting out chairs to help make the wait for the seniors a little more comfortable; and handing out masks for a little extra protection.
He said the clinics were used as an expedient way to distribute the vaccines.
Clifford Brown jumped on the chance.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Well, you never know. You just have to be so careful.”
And, now he’s got the shot.
“It was a lot of relief.”
Likewise, Mike Rothschild had no problems with the process.
“We were one of the first in this line here,” said Rothschild. “Matter of fact, we had an appointment in Pascagoula and we passed it up to be here because this is right next to our house.”
And he’s glad his age group was given priority.
“People like us, we get it and we probably have a 50/50 chance of dying,” Rothschild added. “So, this is a good priority and a fair one.”
MHG administered 1,500 vaccinations at its first visit, and they plans to offer 800 more vaccinations again tomorrow only at the D’Iberville Community Center only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.