BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Memorial Hospital vaccinated around 1,200 Coast residents Friday in East Biloxi at the Dr. Frank Gruich Sr. Community Center. It was Memorial’s largest vaccine distribution to date.
Many Coast residents are now breathing a sigh of relief after getting their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“It’s awesome. It’s really awesome,” said Jesse Davis. “We’ve been trying for a long time to get it and I finally got it, so it’s awesome.”
Memorial Hospital partnered with the Biloxi NAACP to make this vaccine site in East Biloxi possible.
“By Memorial arranging to come out to the community, we’re able to take people who don’t have transportation,” said Philip Levin with Memorial Hospital. “Who don’t have the time to get out and make long appointments, and make long drives, people set up their appointments on the internet site and we’re able to get people in and out in a quick fashion.”
The goal was to get more minorities vaccinated and address the racial gaps in COVID-19 vaccination administration.
“We know that we are somewhat low on the totem pole by how many people have gotten the shot,” said James Crowell, President of Biloxi Branch NAACP. “So we encourage people to do it, it means their life. Not only their life, but the lives of others in their community, by taking this shot.”
However, while some are still hesitant to receive the shot, others were grateful Friday for the opportunity to get it, especially as restrictions relax in Mississippi.
“Because they’re lifting restrictions and I really wanted to make sure I’m protected,” said Kehuna Ruffin.
Mershelia Williams also added “It’s not the time to get comfortable, we need to stand our ground and continue to wear our mask and make sure that even though we’ve had the vaccine, you just never know.”
Memorial Hospital will set up another vaccine site at the Gruich Community Center in three weeks for people to receive their second dose.