Coastal Family Health holds vaccine site despite recent low turnout

Coastal Family Health holds vaccine site despite recent low turnout

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi continues to rank lower when it comes to percentage of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19. About 26.8% of the state has had all of their shots, a number that health officials hope continues to rise.

Coastal Family Health Center continues to hold mobile vaccination sites for South Mississippi communities that are most in need.

“By being at a common location, being accessible, being in these communities, it makes it a lot easier, a lot comforting for people to want to come out,” Outreach Programs Manager Michelle Sperre said.

At the Riley Chapel United Methodist Church site, organizers were greeted with only a handful of patients instead of a line of cars.

“It’s sad to see that we don’t have the participation that we expected,” Pastor Charles Dubra said. “There are people out here, I’m sure, who have not had their shots.”

Low turnout has recently been a common scene for the Coastal Family team, but organizers don’t fully see it as a negative.

“The vaccines are accessible all over the Coast in different pharmacies and through different locations which is a very wonderful thing,” Sperre said. “We are still out here being available if you need them.”

While some organizers credit the increase in supply, others said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause made people more skeptical about getting vaccines. However, Riley Chapel faith leaders are doing what they can to spread correct information through social media and their worship services.

“It’s better to have the shot than to not have it because your chances of passing on are great without this shot,” Dubra said.

Despite the dip in patients, Coastal Family Health officials said there are no plans to decrease vaccination efforts.

“As long as we are needed we’ll be out here,” Sperre said.

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