GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Magnolia State has surpassed a huge milestone in its fight against COVID-19. The number of Mississippians who have at least began the vaccination process has now surpassed one million, with over 360,000 residents fully vaccinated.
It’s a moment that residents and healthcare professionals have been looking forward to for the last year.
”It’s good to see that Mississippi is making headlines for something,” said resident Jennifer Tackett.
Included in the number of those vaccinated are people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities, including many underserved populations. The head of the State Department of Health Office of Health Equity says it’s a testament to the work being done across the state.
”It is a great testament to all the work that, not only the health department, but all of the communities across the state, have put towards making sure people have shots in arms,” said Dr. Chigozie Udembga.
Even local pharmacies are playing a big role in the ever-increasing number of vaccinations.
”The demand is very high. We have given over 700 vaccines so far and we get calls daily,” said Meggan Pisarich, the manager at TD Pharmarcy. “We’re getting about 20 calls a day. We’re currently awaiting our next shipment and are hoping that gets here on May 25th.”
An update on vaccine availability is the first thing you’ll hear when you call TD Pharmacy and, while it’s been a lot of work and has forced the store to hire more workers, they believe they are making a difference.
”It’s why we started doing it,” said Pisarich. “We had our regular customers coming in daily asking if we could get it, so when the opportunity arose we were very happy we were able to do that.”
Jennifer Tackett is one of the regulars at TD Pharmacy. She has been eagerly awaiting her second shot for the last four weeks, and is happy to see the vaccination numbers continue to climb.
”A lot of people are nervous for one reason or another but I feel like it is not only good for my health, it is good for my family’s health,” said Tackett. “It is good for everyone I come in to contact with. It is getting the shots in to people’s arms. This is what’s going to beat this plague.”
According to MSDH, 11% of residents in both Jackson and Harrison counties have been fully vaccinated, with 9% of residents in Hancock County fully vaccinated.
For more information on where you can get a vaccine, how to make an appointment, or for a look at the number of people who are being vaccinated each day, click here.