GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - By the middle of Wednesday afternoon, it was hard to find a parking spot at the Isaiah Fredericks Community Center.
The center teamed up with Memorial Hospital to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to community members.
The hospital said it had more than 700 people show up to get either getting their first or second shot.
We’re told that the hospital brought in extra doses in case of walk-ins.
Donna Reid, nurse manager at Memorial physician clinics, said that it was important for the hospital to open sites in all communities it serves so people can have easy access to the resource.
“We always want to get out and serve the public where the need is in the community. That’s why we’ve been scheduling these sites in the community centers in different areas along the Coast,” Reid said. “Somebody who lives in Pass Christian may not want to go to Biloxi or D’Iberville or wherever. We’re trying to spread it out and give it in the actual areas on the community, so it makes it convenient for the public.”
Reid explained that the event was a team effort.
“We’ve got the pharmacy helping us draw out the vaccines. We have the physician clinic staff that are performing the vaccines and doing the registration for check-in. Then we have some of our IT people as well to put the data in our system. We do report these vaccines to the state Department of Health. Once they’re put into our electronic health record, they’re transmitted to the state,” Reid said.
Elsie Hannibal said that she had no choice but to get the vaccine.
She has been waiting since February to get her shot since she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and that her lungs are weak from scar tissue being on them.
“If I was to get the virus, it wouldn’t be very good for me, so I wanted to get some protection. This is my second shot, and my first one was fine. Now, I’m feeling fine. I think that everyone should get one. That way, we’ll be more protected from this virus that’s going around,” Hannibal said.
Hannibal received her second dose, and she said that she noticed a difference in participation.
“It’s a lot more people today, and that’s good because more people are taking it more serious. Get out and get your vaccine. It’s nothing to be scared about. I haven’t had a problem with it. Getting a vaccine is better than not getting a vaccine,” Hannibal said.
Memorial Hospital said it will give vaccines at the Isaiah Fredericks Community Center on April 21 for those who will need their second shot.