BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Daniel McGlothin said he owes a lot to Coastal Family Health Center. The center helped him get a social security card so he could get a job, and now, thanks to the center, he has his first COVID-19 vaccine.
“And I sure am glad they are giving them out to us, because we sure need them,” the homeless man said.
Coastal Family Health Center’s mobile clinic was at Back Bay Mission in Biloxi on Monday in an effort to reach the homeless population and anyone else who lives nearby.
“Right now we don’t want to get sick, so it’s best out for us to just go ahead and get the vaccine and everybody take care of themself,” McGlothin said as he waited the customary 15 minutes after a vaccine to watch for an adverse reaction. “‘Cause right now, this is an epidemic. We really need to help each other. Everybody needs a shot, and if you can get the first one, get the second one.”
While the increased number of vaccine locations has made it easier for 25% of Mississippians to have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, there are still those who want the shot, but don’t have ready access.
“That’s why you see our mobile unit out in the field trying to reach the people who need it the most, and that are unsure of the vaccine, so there’s a lot of education going on,” said Emily Burke, Coastal Family Health Center spokesperson. “And after they are educated, they want to become vaccinated, and so we’re going into where we are needed as opposed to them trying to get to us.”
So while the initial rush of people trying to get vaccinated has passed, there are many more who need to be reached.
“People are still getting vaccinated, but because of the availability, different locations are probably seeing less and less,” Burke said. “I don’t think that says so much that people aren’t getting vaccinated anymore; it’s just that there’s more availability now.
“And we’re seeing about 60 to 80 patients, which is a really busy day for us out in the mobile unit getting vaccinated. We’ve been out to the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church and we had great success there. We’re going to be at Feed My Sheep on Thursday.”
Burke said that will be the same as the event Monday at Back Bay Mission. No appointment necessary; just a walk-up and get a shot.
McGlothin said he will encourage everyone he sees to get vaccinated because even if life is tough, it is still worth living.
“Everybody got a life to live, everybody got kids, everybody got things they want to live for, so it’s best to get the vaccination shot,” he said.