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COVID vaccines now available for those 75 and older

Mississippi adults age 75 and older can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 at any of the State Health Department’s drive-through sites.

Appointments are required in order to receive a vaccination, and time slots are currently in high demand. Appointments can be made online at covidvaccine.umc.edu or by calling 877-978-6453.

There currently is no vaccination site in Lincoln County, though county Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey said he is hoping that changes soon.

Those arriving at drive-through sites should expect paperwork and the vaccination to take about 10 minutes, plus a 15-minute observation period after vaccination.

A second dose of the vaccine is required to be fully protected against the coronavirus. A schedule card will be given to each shot recipient. Depending on which vaccine is received, follow-up dosages will be given either 21 or 28 days after the first vaccination shot.

Even after being vaccinated, individuals are urged to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

Any healthcare worker, paid or unpaid, in any setting where they might be exposed to COVID-19 patients or infectious materials — either directly or indirectly — is also eligible for vaccinations.

Healthcare workers include nurses, physicians, emergency medical services, technicians, pharmacists, dietary and food staff, environmental services staff and others, according to MSDH.

Healthcare settings include acute care facilities, long-term care facilities, inpatient rehab facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home health care and mobile clinics, outpatient facilities and doctors’ offices.

Vaccinations are expected to be available for people age 65 and older beginning Monday, Galey said.

Available sites, schedules

As of Friday, the following locations are available for appointments in Southwest Mississippi:

• Pike County Health Department, 114 East Presley Blvd., McComb.

• Adams County Health Department, 415 Hwy. 51 N, Natchez.

For locations outside the Southwest Mississippi area, visit MSDH.ms.gov or call 877-978-6453.