Health and Human Services discuss vaccine hesitancy

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Health and Human Services Region 4 held a forum to provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

One of the objectives of the forum was to provide resources to improve vaccines access. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs offered many solutions to this. People can go to the CDC’s website, the department of health’s website, and healthyms.com to find more information.

According to Dobbs, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has partnerships with clinics in the state. If organizations or people want to sign up or host community events, they will bring the vaccines to you.

During the forum, leaders also discussed the challenges surrounding vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Regina Hyatt, Vice President for Student Affairs at Mississippi State University, spoke on the hesitancy with students on campus. 

“Students are expressing that they aren’t necessarily opposed to getting vaccinated but are just not certain or in a hurry to get vaccinated,” she said.

Leaders also talked about how to identify the best practices to improve confidence in the vaccines.

Pastor Odee Akines of Forest delivered his testimony by sharing the COVID-19 symptoms he had in hopes of persuading others to get vaccinated, so they won’t have to deal with the same problems.

He said the church member that he caught COVID-19 from died while he was getting in the hospital. Akines spent 80 days in the hospital, and he said he didn’t know whether he was going to live or die as the doctors gave him a two percent chance of living.

According to Dobbs, there’s been almost two million doses of the vaccine distributed in Mississippi with more than one million receiving the first dose.

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