Mississippi nearing 50% for those who have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine

Jniya Tallie fiddles with her vaccination card after receiving her second dose of the Pfizer...
Jniya Tallie fiddles with her vaccination card after receiving her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi is still looking for ways for people to get vaccinated.

The large majority of those who’ve gone into the hospital with the virus haven’t had the shots. The Mississippi State Department of Health data shows 86% of the hospitalizations between September 15 and October 12 were unvaccinated.

UMMC’s daily report for October 13 showed every COVID patient in the hospital for the day was unvaccinated.

We’re just two months away from the one year anniversary of the first COVID vaccines given in Mississippi. But some folks like Tekemia Bennett are just now feeling comfortable enough to roll up their sleeves.

“My hesitations came with just a lot of misinformation,” said Tekemia Bennett.

But she saw people in her community who didn’t survive the virus.

“Well, you know, the options are life or death,” Bennett noted. “You know, this vaccine can make or break your home, this vaccine either can help you or not help you. But at least try something that will help you get vaccinated for everything else. So why not just give this a chance?”

And she brought her teenage son along to get the first dose.

“I just felt like it was the best option for me as a young man to get the vaccination and go ahead and stop procrastinating about the vaccine,” added Amir Bennett.

As of now, 47% percent of Mississippians have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. There are 42% who are listed as fully vaccinated.

Vaccination events like this one organized by Light of the World Baptist Church that include incentives are aimed at reaching folks like the Bennetts who may have been putting it off.

“Our pastor had a great concern about the large amount of people in Mississippi and in our community that hadn’t been vaccinated,” noted Janice Alexander.

But for those who are opposed, the latest concern is vaccine mandates by private businesses.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning those mandates. Governor Tate Reeves says he’s unlikely to issue an order like that but he did say this:

“Another potential is is legislation. That’s one of the things that Florida did, for instance, as a state is their legislature passed a law which said, these vaccine mandates were not allowable. I would support such legislation should it get to my desk.”

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