After one year, COVID-19 vaccines have reached almost half of Mississippi

After almost two years, COVID-19 has become a part of everyday life

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- After almost two years, COVID-19 has become a part of everyday life.

Mississippi was among the lowest vaccinated states at one point, but now almost half of the state is fully vaccinated. Health care officials have seen a rise in people coming in getting their vaccines after a slow start.

“They maybe wanted to give it a little more time or they’ve had a personal experience with a family member being sick who was not vaccinated and that’s something that may have changed their mind,” said Dr. Emily Landrum at Starkville Family Clinic.

Landrum said some people were uncertain at the beginning and some are still hesitant; however their behaviors changed over time towards the vaccine.

Some still look at the pros and cons of the vaccine from a political standpoint , but this doctor wanted people to pay attention to the scientists who have been studying the vaccine over this past year.

“Physicians and other health care professionals I think our job and our focus the whole time has been to try and educate people and give them the accurate information to be true,” said Landrum.

The family clinic staff does administer COVID-19 vaccines and Landrum encouraged those that aren’t already vaccinated to strongly consider doing so. Mississippi currently has a 47.5 percent vaccination rate and Landrum said surrounding counties are hitting around that mark.

“All of about Oktibbeha, Lowndes, Clay and Winston counties are around that mid 40 from a percentage stand point so we’re pretty good but we can stand to be a little bit better,” said Landrum.

Ideally health care officials want the numbers in the 80 % range. With the new omnicron variant surfacing; researchers discovered booster shot are found to be effective.

“The pfizer vaccine especially after a booster has shown to be pretty effective at preventing infection and severe illness with the omnicron variant,” said Landrum.

Landrum said that Mississippi can take at least one positive thing from the progress so far.

“Mississippi was recognized for having one of the highest rates in the country for the African American population and I think that our state health department and a lot other leaders and the church community have really worked on and I think that’s something for us to be really proud of,” said Landrum.

Landrum encouraged people to talk to their primary doctor before getting the vaccine.

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