The state of Mississippi on Monday began offering COVID-19 vaccinations to healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff, with opportunities beginning next week to those aged 75 and older; and people 65 and older the week after.

"The most important task that we have is getting the vaccine out to the public. That is our only way out of all this," Gov. Tate Reeves said In a press release Monday. "I still believe everyone should continue to take social distancing seriously." 

Starting this week, according to the Mississippi State Health Department, “Any healthcare worker, paid or unpaid, in any setting where they may be exposed directly or indirectly to COVID-19 patients or COVID-19 infectious materials,” is eligible for the vaccine.

As of Monday, MSDH has opened several drive-through vaccination facilities at multiple county health departments The closest available drive-through vaccine for Hancock County residents will be at the Harrison County Health Department from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 and Friday, Jan. 8.

There will also be a drive-through vaccination site at the Jackson County Health department on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Those wishing to get vaccinations are asked to schedule an appointment online at covidvaccine.umc.edu. MSDH reminds people that the COVID-19 vaccination is a two-dose series. You must schedule an appointment for your second dose 28 days from the time you received the first one.

If you have any questions or concerns about the COVID19 vaccine or, please contact 877-978-6453.

MSDH has also released a color-coded “phase” chart detailing when different demographic groups will be eligible to receive the vaccine, although the schedule has since been altered in order to get the vaccine to older Mississippians more quickly.

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