Singing River Health System working to increase vaccination rate

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - COVID-19 vaccination rates are beginning to flatline across the nation, but Singing River Health System is hoping to combat that by making an effort to offer vaccines at community events.

Vaccination sites have become a normal scene for many communities, but Singing River clinical pharmacist Chris Ayers said the vaccination rate is slowing and allowing for new variances of COVID-19, like the Delta variant, to spread.

“Last week, we estimated it to be at about 10%, and then this week, the latest trend that I’ve seen shows that it’s possibly about 20% of the variants out there,” Ayers said. “Estimates are that within the next month to six weeks, the Delta variant could very well be the most dominant one in the U.S”

Ayers said a greater focus needs to be placed on vaccinating people between ages 12 -18.

“By stopping the transmission, you stop the virus,” Ayers said. “If you stop the virus, it cannot variate. It can’t be transmitted to someone else once you stop it from spreading.”

Emergency physician at Ocean Springs Hospital Dr. Joseph Pocreva said it is essential to bring vaccines to this younger population.

“We can all remember back when we were kids in grade school when they would have dental exams, hearing exams, eye examines, and they came to the school because there’s a certain amount of the population that is not going to go out and get that healthcare,” Pocreva said. ”It’s going to be essential, from a public health standpoint, to be able to get to the numbers that we need to get to get the critical coverage from the vaccine.”

Singing River Health System has two vaccination sites coming up this week:

  • Thursday, June 24 from 5:30 p.m. -9 p.m. at the Biloxi Shuckers game
  • Friday, June 25 from 9 a.m. - noon at the Mississippi Aquarium
    • Buy one aquarium ticket, get one free with a COVID-19 shot

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