JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Health leaders held a virtual panel discussion on Friday to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on minorities in Mississippi.
During the news conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, said he has confidence in the vaccine.
According to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, there’s still quite a number of cases in Mississippi, and people are still dying from the virus. So far, more than 300,000 Mississippians have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Preliminary data showed 72 percent of Mississippians plan to take the vaccine, 16 percent said they won’t take it and 12 percent are not sure if they will take it.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is tracking intentions to vaccine. Of those who said they would take the vaccine, 66 percent are white and 39.9 percent are Black. MSDH has a survey on its website about the vaccine. They want to find out what the foundational issues are that led to the distrust in the vaccine.
In order to increase access to the vaccine, health leaders in Mississippi said they plan to lower barriers by increasing call line capacity, have a devoted call line for those who are 75 or older, expand vaccine locations, and increase education and outreach.
Watch the full panel discussion on the Tougaloo College YouTube channel.