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Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility

Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility
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Mississippi officials said the state has run out of coronavirus vaccines after appointments for vaccinations committed its entire supply.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) said in a statement Wednesday that its vaccine distribution plan has been “significantly altered in the last few few days — especially in the last 24 hours.”

“Neither the county health department drive-through sites, nor the UMMC vaccine scheduling website was designed to accommodate the monumental surge we are currently experiencing,” the department said. “At this time, we have no additional vaccine, and every appointment is tied to an actual vaccination.”

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The department said it hopes to revive a large shipment of doses by mid-February, adding that it will keep residents updated regarding additional doses.

Mississippians should understand that we can only vaccinate residents based on vaccine availability. We will open additional vaccination appointments as we receive more vaccine,” MSDH wrote.

In the meantime, all Mississippians – whether vaccinated or not – should continue to follow protective guidelines. Especially avoid any social gatherings. And always wear a mask,” it added.

The short supply comes a day after Gov. Tate Reeves (R) expanded vaccinations to people ages 65 and older, as well as those with preexisting conditions.

The Biloxi Sun Herald reports that Reeves vowed to open vaccines to first responders and teachers next week. The governor wanted to get “shots in the arms” of as many people as possible and quickly.

The newspaper notes that the MSDH hotline and website, as well as several hospitals, ran out of appointments on Wednesday.

Mississippi is not the only state expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in an effort to get vaccinations underway quickly.

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomFeehery: To move past Trump, Republicans have to think local The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other READ: Harris letter resigning from Senate ahead of inauguration MORE (D) expanded eligibility to anyone 65 or older on Wednesday, and New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoDe Blasio: New York City will run out of COVID-19 vaccine this week without resupply Overnight Health Care: Testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing | Health workers refusing vaccine is growing problem | Incoming CDC director expects 500,000 COVID deaths by mid-February Health workers refusing vaccine is new growing US problem MORE (R) last week expanded eligibility to people 75 and over, as well as first responders.