Mississippi teachers now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, beginning March 1st

Private providers are also offering the vaccine, but appointments are only scheduled as the facilities receive vaccine shipments.

LIVE REPORT: All of state's COVID-19 vaccines allotted, new shipment not expected for weeks

MSDH First dose appointments: Check the online vaccination scheduler for first-dose appointments that are available now. Vaccine supplies have improved, and more appointments are available every day. Be sure to check in the first part of the week, when a large group of new appointments usually becomes available.

For assistance with scheduling appointments, call the MSDH COVID-19 Hotline at 877-978-6453.

MSDH Second dose appointments: Make your second-dose appointment as soon as you schedule your first vaccination at one of our drive-through sites. Look for scheduling information in your first dose confirmation e-mail. Remember that your second dose appointment should be made 3-5 weeks (for Pfizer vaccine) or 4-6 weeks (Moderna) from your first vaccination.

Eligibility: Teachers and staff in K-12 schools, daycares and preschools are now eligible, as are personnel involved in law enforcement, emergency management, fire response, and other first responders. Adults 65 and over, and those ages 18-64 with certain chronic health conditions are eligible for vaccination in addition to healthcare personnel and EMTs/paramedics. Vaccinations are provided to Mississippi residents or to out-of-state residents who work in Mississippi.

Read the state of Mississippi’s latest vaccination report here: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/12130.pdf

Here’s a look at how Mississippi is distributing the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 27, 2021:

Here’s a look at how Mississippi is distributing the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 27, 2021.
Here’s a look at how Mississippi is distributing the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 27, 2021. (Source: MSDH)

**Latest updates**

Wednesday, Feb. 24: At 9:20am, Gov. Reeves announced 30,000 new first-dose appointments were just loaded into the state system. All school employees (including preschool, childcare, K-12) and law enforcement and first responders are now eligible to make appointments starting today. Call 877-978-6453 or visit covidvaccine.umc.edu

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Gov. Tate Reeves announced that teachers and first responders of any age or health condition are eligible to receive vaccinations starting March 1st.

Sunday, Feb. 21: Due to impacts from recent severe winter weather, Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) drive-through COVID-19 vaccination sites in Lee, Washington and Adams counties have been cancelled for Sunday, February 21.

Wednesday, Feb. 17th: Singing River Health System is now scheduling first-dose appointments to be given Friday, February 19 at SRHS’s Gulfport facility. Call 228-809-5555 to make an appointment.

Monday, Feb. 15th: Due to hazardous weather conditions, all MSDH drive-through vaccination sites will be closed Tuesday with the exception of the Coast Coliseum site in Harrison County.

Sunday, Feb. 14th: The Mississippi State Department of Health announced Monday afternoon that all COVID-19 vaccines scheduled for Monday have been postponed due to upcoming severe cold weather. All appointments have been automatically rescheduled for the same time on an alternate day. If you want to see the full list of rescheduled dates click here.

Friday, Feb. 12th: With winter weather on the way to some parts of Mississippi, the MSDH is promising any canceled appointments will be automatically rescheduled. Those with appointments are also being asked to arrive at vaccination sites no more than 10-15 minutes before your appointment to help eliminate very long lines that are increasing wait times for all involved.

Wednesday, Feb. 10th: The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System’s Biloxi Veterans Affairs Medical Center will host drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations on Feb. 13. Vaccinations are by appointment only from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. based on availability. Veterans may register by calling 1-800-296-8872.

Tuesday, Feb. 9th: Dr. Thomas Dobbs announced that participating Walmart locations are now booking appointments for COVID-19 vaccines. Those locations, including three Walmart stores in South Mississippi (Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula) were named a list released by the State Department of Health on Monday. Patients can begin making appointments on Feb. 9 by visiting this website.

Singing River Health System announced that they received 975 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered Tuesday, Feb. 9th in Pascagoula by appointment only. 3pm Update: All available appointments have been scheduled. More info: https://singingriverhealthsystem.com/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/

Friday, Feb. 5th: State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs announced that starting next week, second dose appointments will be scheduled on location when you receive your first dose. Current second dose appointments are still valid. And those who are not currently scheduled -but already received a first dose from a MSDH site - will receive an email to schedule a second dose appointment.

Thursday, Feb. 4th: The Mississippi State Department of Health now says all second dose appointments should be scheduled using instructions emailed to you after your first vaccination appointment. If you have questions or need assistance, you can always call 877-978-6453.

Thursday, Jan 28th: The Mississippi State Department of Health announced that you can now make an appointment throughout the state immediately after your first dose for the second vaccination. Previously, you had to wait two-weeks before scheduling another appointment. Schedule online at covidvaccine.umc.edu.

The Mississippi State Department of Health allows you to schedule an appointment online at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453. The vaccine patient screening, which only takes a few minutes to go through, walks patients through a series of questions, verifying they qualify for a vaccination. It also asks whether or not a person has been exposed or tested positive for the virus in recent weeks, as well as whether or not they have received any kind of monoclonal antibody therapy.

The Mississippi State Department of Health allows you to schedule an appointment online at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453.
The Mississippi State Department of Health allows you to schedule an appointment online at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID call center at 1-877-978-6453. (Source: MSDH)

Qualifying health conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but less than 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Or other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider

Note that your physician or medical provider may advise that you be vaccinated even if you do not have a health condition listed above.

Several health departments in the state are offering the vaccines, including Jackson County and Harrison County on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

On Friday, Jan. 8, the state health department released a list of private providers offering the COVID-19 vaccine. You can view the list here>> https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/12232.pdf

Private Providers offering the COVID-19 vaccination in South Mississippi

Coastal Family Health announced Feb. 8th that the center’s COVID-19 vaccine waiting list has exceeded its vaccine supply. Because of that, Coastal Family Health will no longer add names to its waiting list until their current inventory of the COVID-19 vaccine is depleted. Coastal operators are currently scheduling vaccine appointments for callers and patients already on the list as quantities arrive.

If you need to schedule a COVID19 test, call 888-363-8701 to make an appointment.

  • The Vancleave Clinic – 10828 Hwy 57, Vancleave
  • The Leakesville Clinic - 1616 Williams Drive, Leakesville
  • The Pass Christian Clinic – 257 Davis Avenue, Pass Christian
  • The mobile unit - Salvation Army Kroc Center, 575 Division Street, Biloxi
  • East North Gulfport Park - Florida Street, Gulfport

George County Hospital in Lucedale - lease visit https://georgeregional.com/schedule-a-covid-vaccine/ to schedule an appointment or call 601-947-3161.

1/25/21 UPDATE: Second Dose COVID 19 Vaccination appointments are now open at George County Hospital. If you received your first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine at the George County Fairgrounds or Greene County Hospital on January 19th or 20th, you may register for the second dose at https://georgeregional.com/schedule-a-covid-vaccine/ You are asked to bring the vaccine sheet you received at the time of your first dose and your photo ID to your scheduled appointment.

Ocshner Medical Center in Bay St. Louis is offering vaccinations by appointment only. Appointments can be made online at MyOchsner or by calling 1-844-888-2772.

The Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System hospital in Biloxi is administering vaccines to high-risk veterans as long as supplies are available. Veterans interested in receiving the vaccine are encouraged to complete the Keep Me Informed Form. This tool is designed to capture veterans’ interest in receiving the vaccine and keeping veterans informed of the VA’s vaccination process. This information can also help their care team prepare for eligible individual’s vaccinations, if they desire to have one. Veterans will then be contacted by a scheduling team.

Singing River Health System is no longer taking calls as the current supply of vaccinations is fully reserved as of Jan. 12.

Memorial Hospital is currently out of the COVID-19 vaccine but they will continue offering them to eligible patients once they receive more. That information will be updated on their website. For more information, click here.

1/28/21 UPDATE: Memorial Hospital is scheduling appointments for the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination with all patients who received their first dose from Memorial on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8, 2021. Patients who qualify for these vaccines will be contacted by Memorial Hospital directly. If you received the vaccine on Jan. 7-8 and have not been contacted, call Memorial Hospital directly to schedule your second dose.

Forrest Health regional hospitals will no longer be accepting new appointments for patients who are requesting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. This includes:

  • Highland Community Hospital, Picayune
  • Pearl River County Hospital, Poplarville
  • Walthall General Hospital, Tylertown
  • Marion General Hospital, Columbia
  • Jefferson Davis Community Hospital, Prentiss

For those who received their first dose at one of Forrest Health’s regional hospitals or clinics, those facilities are still planning to vaccinate everyone with their second dose as scheduled as long as those vaccines are made available. Everyone who already has a first-dose or second-dose appointment is highly encouraged to keep their appointments.

As more vaccines arrive, vaccinations will be expanded to other groups including essential workers like teachers and first responders, as well as those with chronic diseases which raise their risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Mississippi is following a phased approach to prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations. Each phase balances the protection of those most at risk from COVID-19 with the protection of those who maintain essential functions of the community such as healthcare, education, law enforcement, food supply and transportation.

Mississippi Vaccination Phases
Mississippi Vaccination Phases (Source: MSDH)

The vaccine is not yet approved from children under the age of 16.

Vaccines are given out in two doses, approximately 21 to 28 days apart. Both doses are required for the vaccine to be fully effective.

Patients who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 are able to receive the vaccine one their isolation period is over and symptoms have significantly improved. Pregnant women, lactating women and those who are immunocompromised may take the vaccine; however, consultation with your healthcare provider is recommended.

People who have had severe reactions from previous vaccines or injectable medications should not take the vaccine.

Like with most vaccines, patients should expect some soreness and fatigue for up to a day after vaccination, which is a sign that the body is developing a proper immune response. Large-scale testing of the vaccine has found no major side effects to the vaccine.

To read more about the different phases, visit the CDC website for details.

Keep using masks and social distancing after vaccination.
Keep using masks and social distancing after vaccination. (Source: MSDH)

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