COVID-19 Vaccine Information
About the vaccine
COVID Vaccines Are Now Available at the Office of Health & Counseling Services (LEARN MORE)
Two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Both vaccines have also passed independent review by medical experts in the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, as part of the Western States Pact. The first vaccine, developed by Pfizer BioNTech, received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Dec. 11. The second COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Moderna, received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Dec. 18.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at the O.W. Reily Health Center:
- mRNA vaccine
- Approved for emergency use in those 16 years and older
- Two doses, 21 days apart
- Clinical trial data shows the vaccine is about 94 percent effective at preventing symptomatic lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection after two doses.
More about the Pfizer vaccine is available on the CDC website Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Overview and Safety | CDC and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers (fda.gov)
More about the Moderna vaccine is available on the CDC website.
Each week, the federal government allocates vaccine to Mississippi for the following week. The state is then responsible for deciding who will receive the available vaccine.
To help the Mississippi State Department of Health make this decision each week, local health care facilities and pharmacies request the amount of vaccine that they would like to receive. The state looks at those requests and the amount of vaccine coming from the federal government and decides how to divide up the vaccine. Bolivar County Public Health is also able to provide input on which clinics are a priority for receiving vaccine.
The requests for vaccine are always greater than the amount of vaccine the state has available.
Local health care facilities and pharmacies typically find out a few days later how much vaccine they can expect (it may be less than what they asked for) or if their order will not be filled at all. Then, a couple of days after that, they receive their vaccine.
Because facilities don’t always know how much vaccine they’re getting, they may not book appointments too far in advance. They want to ensure they have the vaccine before scheduling you for an appointment. Sometimes, if the expected vaccine order isn’t filled, a facility may have to cancel or reschedule appointments.
Once the vaccine arrives, facilities get to work administering vaccine! Facilities have a week to get the vaccine in the arms of people who are eligible to be vaccinated.
The state Department of Health is also working hard to ensure that vaccine is available for second doses. Each week, vaccine is allocated to facilities to match the number of doses given the prior three (for Pfizer) or four (for Moderna) weeks. This ensures the facilities have adequate supply for second doses.
The limited vaccine supply and the unpredictable nature of the shipments make it challenging for facilities to plan and administer vaccine. But as supply increases and the amount of vaccine being shipped to states (and then distributed to facilities) becomes more predictable, we’ll see vaccine appointments more readily available.
How will the vaccine be prioritized?
Initially, there will not be enough vaccine for everyone, due to limited supplies. The vaccine will be administered in phases, with those at highest risk getting immunized first and immunization continuing until everyone who wants to be immunized can be immunized.
If you confirmed your eligibility, you must still schedule an appointment through the MSDH COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduler.
There are multiple options for seeking COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Each option includes different processes for scheduling appointments. However, vaccine supply is very limited across the state. Appointments may be limited or unavailable.
The MS State Department of Health is determining the order in which different groups of people will receive vaccine (vaccine allocation). So far, the state has released details for Phase 1a and Phase 1b.
Those in Phase 1a and Phase 1b Tier 1 are now eligible to be vaccinated.
Questions? Call (662) 846-4690 or email Kashanta Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org