Mississippi is struggling to get COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of people who want them.
Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement on social media that the vaccine rollout is “not going nearly fast enough.”
As an example, Reeves pointed to the lag time in getting vaccines to long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Some 78,000 doses were allocated to LTC facilities in the state and only 2% have been administered. Under a federal contract, CVS and Walgreens are delivering vaccine to LTC facilities.
“State government was basically removed from that part of the process—direct delivery,” Reeves wrote, adding that the slow progress worried him. The schedule calls for having all first doses delivered in all of the state’s LTC facilities by the end of the month, he said.
The governor sees the drive-thru vaccinations sites as a success, and has called for the number of sites, along with the days open and daily appointments, to double.
“That should make our max possible number of appointments go from 8,000 to 30,000 over the coming days,” Reeves wrote.
To better help people who may not have computer access, the governor is also increasing capacity at the vaccine call center “so you can speak with a real person and get accurate information. “
“If you want a vaccine, you should have quick, simple access, Reeves added. “Government logistics should not stand in your way.”
To make an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, go to COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or call 1-877-978-6453.
At this time, appointments are being accepted for all health care workers, including emergency medical technicians and paramedics, and those over the age of 75.