More South Mississippi residents eligible for COVID-19 vaccine as Spring Break nears

More South Mississippi residents eligible for COVID-19 vaccine as Spring Break nears

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s about that time when South Mississippi shows its southern hospitality to vacationers heading in for Spring Break.

“We come for the beach and my family,” said Jackson resident Kentrel Kelly. “I like the water and come out here and chill.”

As crowds of people make their way to the Coast, more residents now have protection against the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced vaccines will be open to all Mississippians beginning March 16 as well as nearly 10,000 appointments available in the state over the next three weeks.

“It could probably help out and make the rates of COVID go down,” Kardeiyier West said. “Hopefully it works.”

Now, all patients over the age of 16 in the state will be able to get vaccinated, but only those 18+ will be able to visit an MSDH drive-through site. Those under 18 should see their physician or a private medical provider about vaccination rather than visiting an MSDH drive-through site.

However, the challenge is convincing Mississippians to sign up for appointments.

“People are the problem at this point,” Larry Snell said. “There has been a shortage of supply. Now we got to persuade folks to take it.”

Residents worry people might be hesitant to take the vaccine, especially the younger and less at-risk crowd.

“To me, I feel like I have a strong immune system,” said 17-year-old Ashley Ferguson. “I don’t get sick for real.”

There are also rumors and misinformation that health officials have to battle.

“All of the internet, they say you’re going to have supernatural powers if you take the vaccine,” 19-year-old Kelly said.

Some residents also still have fears, despite the CDC saying the approved doses are safe and effective.

“I don’t think I want to take it. I don’t trust it. Some are really getting sick and passing out,” Ferguson said.

While people still have mixed feelings about the vaccine, it hasn’t stopped others from looking forward to better days.

“I want everyone to be able to go back to school. Nowadays, it’s hard to talk to somebody face to face,” West said.

For the latest on COVID-19 vaccine information, CLICK HERE.

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