Mississippians begin making vaccine appointments a month in advance

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PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) – We’re hearing from people who are frustrated about not being able to get the COVID-19 vaccine for another month.

The number of people trying to get vaccine appointments was so great that the system was overwhelmed and the available vaccine was quickly accounted for.

Since their last announcement Wednesday there have been no new updates from the department of health. But frustrated folks want changes to the current system of getting the vaccine.

“You can’t get through, how can you get help if you can’t get through,” Sharon Yarborough told us.

Since Tuesday thousands of Mississippi households have spent hours online and on the phone as their requests for vaccine appointments went nowhere.

“There is no way they can understand it unless they are in our shoes,” Yarborough complained. “Get on a website they give you and you see there are 5,000-6,000 people ahead of you, what do you do?”

24 hours after Governor Tate Reeves added those 65 or older and anyone younger with pre-existing conditions to the list of those who qualify the Mississippi Department of Health announced this upsurge took over the entire supply of the vaccine.

“I got one of the last appointments available,” Joe Joseph of Pearl said. “The second appointment is maybe a little more tricky I haven’t tried. But it’s up to me to go online and try to get a second appointment.”

The department of health says in mid-February when a new shipment will arrive. In an updated statement Governor Tate Reeves wants the vaccine here sooner adding “We are not currently out of COVID-19 vaccines, but we are operating at max capacity. So far, over 73,000 doses of the first round of the vaccine have been given. We knew that there would be more people who qualified than those that could be immediately serviced. But we are protecting the most vulnerable, and giving everyone a chance to get in line.”

Those in rural communities we spoke to added to fully take care of those who need the vaccine the more distribution sites should open to keep them from having to travel far.

“This is just one big mess for all of us older people,” Yarborough stated. “If you have too much that’s good you can just pass it on to another state. It’s just a big miscalculation.”

Since our interview, the Yarborough family informed us they eventually managed to get through by going to our website and followed links to schedule an appointment on Feb. 12.

Again if you’ve already scheduled your second dose of any vaccine or are set up to get your first shot there’s no delay for you to be fully vaccinated.

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