In Mississippi, 73,000 Vaccine Slots and Few Takers
The good news: There are more shots available. The challenge is getting people to take them.
By Andrew Jacobs
When it comes to getting the coronavirus vaccine, Mississippi residents have an abundance of options. On Thursday, there were more than 73,000 slots to be had on the state’s scheduling website, up from 68,000 on Tuesday.
In some ways, the growing glut of appointments in Mississippi is something to celebrate: It reflects the mounting supplies that have prompted states across the country to open up eligibility to anyone over 16.
But public health experts say the pileup of unclaimed appointments in Mississippi exposes something more worrisome: the large number of people who are reluctant to get inoculated.
“It’s time to do the heavy lifting needed to overcome the hesitancy we’re encountering,” said Dr. Obie McNair, an internal medicine practitioner in Jackson, the state capital, whose office has a plentiful supply of vaccines but not enough takers.
Though access remains a problem in rural Mississippi, experts say that the state — one of the first to open eligibility to all adults three weeks ago — may be a harbinger of what much of the country will confront in the coming weeks, as increasing supplies enable most Americans who want the vaccine to easily make appointments.
The hesitancy has national implications. Experts say between 70 percent to 90 percent of all Americans must be vaccinated for the country to reach herd immunity, the point at which the virus can no longer spread through the population.
Source: Read Full Article