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Two South Mississippi organizations team up to help combat vaccine hesitancy

“People say that they don’t know what’s in it, but they don’t know what’s in Coca-Cola neither, or Pepsi, but they drink it.” said Black.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:11 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Vaccination rates in Mississippi remain low, as hesitancy toward the shot stays high. Coastal Family Health and the Faith Tabernacle of Praise teamed up to put shots in arms. A handful of people showed up for their first round of the vaccine.

With only 31% of the state’s adult population fully vaccinated, and only 25% in the six southernmost counties, Bishop Black at the Faith Tabernacle of Praise in Gulfport felt the need to facilitate change.

“We hope that everybody, everybody would take the vaccine,” said Black. “People say that they don’t know what’s in it, but they don’t know what’s in Coca-Cola neither, or Pepsi, but they drink it. By faith, and especially people of faith we’ve had it, I’ve had it, and I hope people would take advantage of it.”

Number 50, that’s where Mississippi ranks in the number of people who have rolled up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine. Despite the fact that only one-fourth of adults in South Mississippi have been fully vaccinated, officials said that one shot given is better than no shots given.

A stark contrast from when vaccines first became available just a few months ago, Coastal Family Health Director of Marketing and Communications Emily Burke says supply now outweighs the demand.

“The need or the want to have the vaccine has slowed down,” said Burke. “However, we have endless supply so we want to be in areas that might not be very accessible to people to get there, to get their vaccines.”

Even if only one or two people got their shot at this pop-up event, staff with both organizations said that’s one or two more lives potentially saved.

If you missed this event, Coastal family Health will host additional upcoming events. They will be at Victory International in Ocean Springs on June 16th, at Riley Chapel in Gulfport in June 26th, and Greater St. John AME in Biloxi on June 30th. For more information, they can be reached at (228) 374-4991.

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