Mississippians ‘thrilled’ to get COVID-19 vaccine as eligibility expands

Mississippians ‘thrilled’ to get COVID-19 vaccine as eligibility expands

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Vaccination efforts are ramping up across the state. Mississippi is now the second state in the nation to expand eligibility to all residents 16 and older.

Many people eager to get vaccinated now that they’re eligible, like Matthew Pavlov, are happy the wait to get the COVID 19 vaccine is now over.

“I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled for this nightmare to be over. I’m very excited about it,” he said.

As soon as he heard that the vaccine was now open to all Mississippians 16 and older, he rushed to make an appointment at Memorial’s vaccine site at the Lyman Community Center on Tuesday.

“My reaction was I’m signing up, I’m going to get it done. I’ve been waiting. I’m fine with the people more in need getting them first, but I’m thrilled that now I can get it,” Pavlov said.

Diana Baroudi also wasted no time making an appointment.

She’s ready to get life back to normal.

“I want to travel. I want to go somewhere fun with my friends, do everything we couldn’t do before,” she said.

She said she’s glad the governor decided to expand the eligibility for the vaccine.

“Hopefully everyone will do what they can to get vaccinated soon,” Baroudi said.

Memorial Hospital said they expect to see more people signing up for the vaccine in the coming days, and they’re gearing up for the increased demand.

“We’re preparing for it as it comes. We’re kind of adjusting on the fly, so as we see the need we will adjust to it,” said Eddie Maddox, physician director.

Pavlov hopes Mississippians won’t hesitate to get the shot.

“Get a vaccine. Don’t get COVID,” he said.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is available for teens 16 and 17 years old, and the State Health Department recommends those teens go to a private medical provider to get vaccinated.

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