Dozens brave rain, long wait for COVID-19 vaccines
A little rain did not deter those who had lined up outside the doors of the Jackson-Hinds Vicksburg -Warren Family Health Center on Thursday for a shot at getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
After learning there were going to be vaccines available for those 65 and older at the location in Warren County, people made their way to the clinic. Some arrived as early as 6 a.m., three hours before the vaccines were available.
“I got here at 6:30,” Vicksburg resident Beth Palmer said.
Since Gov. Tate Reeves broadened the pool of those who could receive the vaccine to people age 65 and older, it has been challenging to find an available location. Warren County has yet to get a drive through vaccination site like some other counties, and only limited doses started to trickle in this week.
On the day Reeves made the announcement the Mississippi State Department of Health’s website crashed, and on Wednesday the phone system at the Medical Associates of Vicksburg crashed after residents learned the clinic had received some vaccines.
Palmer said she had been trying to make an appointment on the state’s website and was only able to get one for her husband.
He drove to Natchez for his vaccine, so when news got out about the availability in Vicksburg, Palmer said she was not going to miss out on this opportunity.
“When I got here at 6:30 we were all lined up in our cars and then something happened because I was number 10 or 12 and people started pulling in the parking lot and getting out of their cars,” Palmer said.
She followed suit, waiting outside until the clinic doors opened for people to begin getting their names put on a sign-up sheet.
Palmer was told to wait in her car until she received a call. In the meantime, people began crowing around the doors of the clinic.
Palmer was afraid she would not get a call, but she did and was able to receive her first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
“It didn’t hurt a bit,” she said, and added she was excited to have finally received her first dose.
Vicksburg resident Michael Coody also received his first dose of the vaccine at the clinic. At 72, he said he wanted the vaccine so he could make it to 73.
Annie Montgomery was excited to get her vaccine, too.
“I have this hip condition and I don’t want to get anything else,” she said.
Dr. Jasmin Chapman, who is the CEO of the facility, said she was excited about Thursday’s turnout.
“I think now people are knowing it is safe vaccination,” Chapman said and is hoping the clinic will get more vaccines next week.