New COVID-19 vaccine distribution trends highlight ethnicity gap for injections

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Week by week the number of Mississippi vaccinations continues to grow but new trends are showing how much of the vaccine is being used and who’s going for it.

Significant differences amongst race and where the supply can meet most demand. As of Jan. 25. the Mississippi Department of Health reports 184,398 of the states 449,300 Coronavirus vaccines have made it to people who qualify. Just 41% of our supply.

“I think the rate-limiting step for individuals is whether or not there is a supply because the demand is there,” Dr. Lynda Jackson-Assad, Cheif Medical Officer of Jackson-Hinds County Comprehensive Health Center explained.

“I think the governor is making a step in the right direction by having one site at Smith Willis Stadium,” Councilman Stokes of Ward three told us. “As a place to get the vaccine, but he must realize a number of people do not have transportation.”

An enormous gap is noticed breaking down who’s been vaccinated by race. Only 15% of African Americans statewide have received a dose even though they account for 39.4% of the cases and 42% of deaths.

“If they had the vaccines at more locations, then more black people would be vaccinated,” Councilman Stokes said. “I believe the hospitals must be more involved and clinics like Jackson Hinds or Jackson Medical Mall in the terms of them not running out.”

As we met up with doctors at the Jackson Hinds County Comprehensive Health Center, data shows major demand for the vaccine versus the supply they were given.

“The shipment was initially for 700 doses and we were out of it in less than three hours,” Dr. Jackson-Assad said.

Dr. Jackson-Assad is unsure when a new shipment for their patient’s second doses will come in to keep people on schedule. They’re keeping a waiting list for when appointments open up. And no new first dose appointments are available on the Covid vaccine website CovidVaccine.UMC.edu.

There are currently 144 private clinics and pharmacies offering vaccine doses throughout Mississippi. But to schedule with them or see when they get shipments you must call their offices.

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