GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Gov. Tate Reeves was on the Gulf Coast today, speaking on his frustration along with everyone else with the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program, but he found a positive outlook.
“Well look, the people are frustrated. The good news that the demand for the vaccine is very high,” said Reeves. “That is a very positive development. Because I was concerned, and a lot of people were concerned that people may not want to take the vaccine. The reason I took the vaccine yesterday was to show the people it was safe.”
Reeves said additional staff is being added to the state’s call center to help. In the meantime, all of the Health Department’s available vaccines are scheduled to be administered to 52,000 eligible people.
“What that means is 100 percent of the vaccines that we’re getting next week is going into people’s arms.” Reeves said.
Reeves promising that vaccines will get to distribution sites, private and state, as they come in. But to do that effectively, Reeves said he needs information that he hasn’t been able to get.
“The only data I cannot get so far is every single hospital in the state, how many doses have they gotten and how many doses have they put in arms,” Reeves said. “That’s what I’ve asked for. I’ve been asking for it for three weeks. I can’t get that data. So, would you send more doses to a hospital if you don’t know how many they’ve put in arms? Would you send more doses to a hospital if you don’t know how much they’ve gotten and how much they’ve put in arms? No you wouldn’t and neither would anybody in the state of Mississippi.”
He did also praise Singing River Health System and Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.
“They are a shining star,” said Reeves. “I wish the entire state could say the same thing. Unfortunately, hospitals have a least 105,000 total doses statewide, and only 45,000 Mississippians have been inoculated.”
Reeves added that while appointments are filled up until next Friday, he anticipates being able to make appointments for the first week of February “in the very near future.”