Mississippi vaccination numbers are improving, but the number of African Americans receiving the vaccine is not.
As of Thursday, a total of 85,829 Mississippians have been vaccinated, 77,223 have received the first dose and 8,606 have received the second dose.
A breakdown of that number by race, reveals only 15% of vaccinations have been Black people while 63% are white.
Mississippi State Department of Health’s Dr. Thomas Dobbs says 15% is very low.
“This is actually worse than it was a couple of weeks ago, so this is a huge challenge,” said Dobbs. “We are going to try to make sure we open more locations in areas where there is a need.”
Dobbs said drive-thru vaccination sites will be opened in Hinds, Warren, Scott, and Alcorn Counties along with others.
“But that’s not enough because we have a lot of outlying areas where people don’t have access to the drive-thru and they can’t drive, and that’s one of the things we’re struggling with now is that we equitably distribute the vaccine under this new paradigm,” Dobbs said.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams says vaccine disparities are due to a long history of distrust, and in order to move forward, those reasons need to be acknowledged.
“We have tools to end this pandemic, but