JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – For more than a year, the Mississippi National Guard has been helping the state with its COVID-19 response. In just over two weeks, the operation will be coming to an end.
More than 1,700 National Guard service members administered about 760,000 coronavirus shots into arms once the vaccines were made available to the state.
Commander Kendrick Cager said, “We’ve done everything from perform tests, provide the vaccine, to even the logistics of transporting the materials all over the state.”
Last week, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) announced the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency in Mississippi will be on August 15, 2021. He also announced the timeline for withdrawal of National Guard troops has been finalized for July 15, 2021.
“That extra time requirement provides us the opportunity to demobilize our service members and grant them the opportunity to take their leave. I have soldiers that are also returning back to school,” said Cager.
Officials said during the peak of vaccinations, some of the busiest sites in the state were the Hattiesburg Convention Center and Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Cager said, “So the main takeaway from this whole mission of COVID-19 response has been that we’re an adaptable organization and that we’re capable. Our soldiers and airmen, they are capable of executing any mission that they’re given. No matter what the future holds, we stand ready to support the citizens of Mississippi.”